Reshaping Your Organisational Deal to Embrace Flexibility

In the January edition of our HSM newsletter, we discussed flexibility at the workplace and the approaches that organisations could adopt under hybrid work. From Professor Lynda Gratton’s article “Flexibility Is Key to Integrating Meaning and Work” on MIT Sloan Management Review, there are some quick-win solutions to create a flexible culture.

These include providing your people with the opportunities to take discretionary time, craft their work and tasks, and build new connections with like-minded colleagues. One of the key benefits is that people are empowered to integrate their personal goals into work and create a greater sense of meaning in their careers. 

Following the “Great Resignation” and changing landscape of work after the pandemic, the relationship between people and their organisations have shifted. People have been revisiting their long-held assumptions about life including the purpose of work and work identity. Some decide to run a side business whereas others start taking a sabbatical break. Therefore, people are looking for a higher degree of flexibility from their employers so that they can better shape and control their work lives.  

Financial Times have recently interviewed the senior executives from consulting firms about flexible working arrangement. Consistent with similar studies, they agreed that flexibility has now become a significant deal-breaker to attract and retain talent in the industry. For example, PwC decided to extend its remote working and summer working hours policy for its people. Resonated with this statement, a LinkedIn survey conducted this month indicated that more than 30% UK workers consider quitting their job if their employers requested them to return to the office working full time.  

Provided that people are prioritising flexibility as a key criterion for their jobs, organisations are crafting a new signature deal and introducing higher autonomy for their people with an aim to attract and retain talent. To structure an effective organisational deal, it could be co-created with your people through our 4-Step Model of Redesigning Work: 

Understanding – review the framework of your signature deal from a bottom-up approach through company-wide activities, such as employee listening sessions. This helps identify the gaps between the current and ideal framework 

Reimagine – create your updated framework based on the internal data and external insights that resonate with both the leaders and the people through an evidence-based approach. This is useful to integrate people’s opinions into the design process and gain a stronger buy-in from stakeholders 

Model and Test – experiment the new signature deal across different points within the employee life cycle. This helps capture people’s feedback and refine the deal to ensure it is future-proofed and practical throughout the organisation 

Act and Create – craft a storytelling narrative to socialise the new signature deal within the organisation. This encourages stronger buy-in and commitment of wider stakeholders to continue experimenting and get adapted to the new deal. It is also critical to assess the impact of the organisational performance after the deal is implemented  

You can read more about organisational deals in HSM Advisory’s White Paper “2023 World Outlook” here. For more details on flexibility, you can read Professor Lynda Gratton’s article for MIT Sloan Management Review, Flexibility is Key to Integrating Meaning and Work, here.