Reshaping Your Organisational Deal to Embrace Flexibility

In the January edition of our HSM newsletter, we discussed flexibility in the workplace and how organisations can embed sustainable high performance in their approach to hybrid work. In her article, “Flexibility Is Key to Integrating Meaning and Work” in the MIT Sloan Management Review, Professor Lynda Gratton shares vital insight into what is needed to create a flexible, high performing culture, as we continue to navigate significant change in how we work.

Following the “Great Resignation” and changing landscape of work after the pandemic, the relationship between people and their organisations has shifted. People have been revisiting their long-held assumptions about life, including the purpose of work and work identity. Some may decide to run a side business whereas others may choose to expand their horizons by taking a sabbatical, or re-entering education. Overall, as we shift to an increasingly multi-stage life, people are looking for a higher degree of flexibility from their employers, with greater autonomy and personalisation.

The Financial Times recently conducted a series of interviews with senior consulting firm executives flexible working arrangements. Consistent with similar studies, they found that flexibility has become a significant factor in attracting and retaining talent in the industry. Firms are responding accordingly, crafting their own signature response to flexible work, with firms like PwC deciding to extend their remote working and summer working hours policy. Similarly, a LinkedIn survey conducted this month indicated that over 30% of UK workers would consider quitting their job if their employers asked them to return to the office on a full-time basis.

This means that organisations now need to craft a new signature deal, to continue to offer an attractive proposition that attracts and retains talent. At HSM Advisory, we discuss how organisations can co-create a signature deal with their people through our 4-Step Model for Redesigning Work: 

Understand – 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 your leaders and people, through an evidence-based approach. This is useful when integrating people’s opinions into the design process, to secure buy-in from your stakeholders.

Model and Test – experiment with 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 compelling narrative that tells a story, to socialise the deal within the organisation. This is key to ensuring lasting commitment to the deal, and embedding it within your people’s experience of your organisation. 

You can read more about crafting crafting signature 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.