Case Study - Flexible Working in a Major Insurance Company

MWLB was invited to assist an international insurance company implement a major culture change program that was being instigated in conjunction with the relocation of their HQ. The new location was a considerable distance from the then inner city venue which meant that some staff faced increased travel times to work whilst others had challenges with their child and eldercare responsibilities.

We were selected to provide consultancy advice, in the areas of flexible working and work/life strategies. A key component of the assignment was the development and delivery of manager training programs and the training of an in-house facilitator.

Whilst our involvement came when the client had already made significant inroads into the change process we were able to influence the content of a survey on flexible working which would be used as part of the negotiations for a new industrial agreement. As well, we also worked with their team to re-write their Manager and Employee tool kits and shared our expertise in the areas of policy development and relocation to a new office environment.

Managers had to look at the whole area of work re-design so as to better accommodate a more flexible approach to achieving the business goals. Most importantly they have had to very quickly learn the skills of managing employees who wanted and needed to work flexibly. The workshops which we facilitated addressed these issues. In conjunction with the in house trainer we trained over 150 managers including senior executives. The topics covered included:

  • The role of the leader in the new flexible environment
  • Managing and overcoming resistance to change
  • Cultural and diversity issues that relate to flexible working
  • Managing the issues relating to performance and ‘face time.’
  • Implementing flexible work arrangements so as to benefit the individual, the team and the client.

Feedback from these sessions indicates that the majority of participants felt that they are better able to assess and respond appropriately to requests for flexible work options from members of their teams. They said that “The workshop was very informative in a relaxed and inclusive environment. It covered a number of scenarios relevant to my team. It also show-cased the importance of making my team aware of the options available to them”.