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Top NZ CEOs: Flex work critical to future success

Top NZ CEOs: Flex work critical to future success

Workplace flexibility toolkit provides roadmap for business leaders

Top New Zealand CEOs are leading the way in progressing to flexible workplaces and providing a roadmap for other business leaders to follow, thanks to the Champions for Change business group of 56 New Zealand CEOs and Chairs.

Champions for Change recently launched a Flexible Working Toolkit that collates CEOs’ insights in developing flexible workplaces to attract and retain top talent,increase productivity, and foster an agile response to changing market needs. The Flexible Working Toolkit provides templates, case studies, and specific suggestions of how flexibility can work for organisations.

With over half of the New Zealand workforce either currently working flexibly or wanting to in the future, a shift in leadership mindset and a plan to transition teams and employees to the “new normal” is critical to managing businesses of the future.

“We are seeing a fundamental transformation in the way we work,” says Alison Andrew, CEO of Transpower and a Champion for Change. “There are some very real challenges to overcome as we adapt from corporate traditions of set hours and locations to flexible hours and the ability to work remotely, whether at home or while travelling.”

New and constantly evolving technology, the 24 hours “open” global village, changing life styles, increased ethnic diversity, talent shortages and growth in female participation in the workforce are all trends driving the need for flexibility in the workforce, said Mark Verbiest, Chair of Spark and a Champion for Change.

“New Zealanders are famous for their ability to adapt and evolve, and having a flexible approach and mindset enables problems to be solved in new ways,” says Mark Verbiest.

Representing more than 100,000 direct employees in New Zealand across 44 leading organisations, Champions for Change is a group of 56 CEOs and Chairs from across the public and private sector who are committed to increasing diversity in the workplace.

The Champions for Change group reinforced that workforce flexibility is a much broader concept than “part time hours for new mums”; it is just as important for men as women. It encompasses caring for family members, embracing cultural commitments, and having the ability to participate in lifestyle activities such as sport, study and travel.

Under existing workplace law, employees have the right to request flexible work arrangements and employers have an obligation to consider the request.

“With the increasing pace of change including legislation that ratifies the importance of flexible work, an agile approach is essential,” says Alison Andrew. “We see flexibility as the biggest enabler for creating diverse and inclusive workplaces – and these businesses will be the most resilient and successful in the future.”

“When managed well, we’ve found that a flexible workplace will reduce staff turnover, lower absenteeism and increase how much satisfaction people get from their work. Plus, giving people flexibility has a real impact on morale,” said Mark Verbiest.

The Flexible Working Toolkit includes videos, info-graphics, fact sheets, templates and links to additional resources for company leaders. It is free to anyone looking for practical advice on how to develop a more flexible and inclusive workforce:


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