Want to build the kind of organisation that supports and helps parents be parents?
There are qualified, talented, passionate, hard working parents unable to work in many organisations and companies for no other reason that the lack of flexibility available to them.
This is a shame in many ways, for both those parents who want to work, and organisations who are struggling to find talent.
As a leader, manager or business owner are you wanting to tap in to this flexibility but worried about how to make it happen?
It can be tricky moving from a “9-5 in the office” culture to one of flexibility and trust in people. But the reality is many companies make it work and many talented people are only able to commit to work on a flexible basis.
We are proud to support parents looking to get back in to work and excel in any workplace – it’s why I started Parent Brain. We are therefore on a mission to help organisations support parents in the workplace.
Our consultancy is delivered through my management consulting firm Cultivated Management – a company already delivering workplace and management consulting services.
How does it work?
We always start with a discovery phase to work out what you’re trying to achieve, before digging in to some of the obstacles you may face. Our approach is always to study your real obstacles and opportunities, not to roll out a blanket approach.
We always start by looking at communication and how it flows around your organisation. This requires studying and observations of company, team and individual communication to understand how aligned your organisation is around your mission, vision, values, principles, work, announcements and more.
It may seem odd to start here but the majority of reasons why flexible working is hard is due to poor communication. Actually, let me reframe that, the majority of problems in an organisation are because of poor communication.
If you want flexibility which relies on trust both ways between employer and employee then you simply must have effective communication within your organisation.
Flexible workers are still part of a team and often the team need the most help to support the Flexi-parent, not the other way around, so we will also focus on this.
We will also work with managers, leaders and staff to boost communication skills. The better that people communicate, the more flexibility you can build in to your workplace over time.
Hiring the best people is the most strategic activity a manager and leader can focus on. Effective employees are worth their weight in gold and can easily do the work of several average employees. So why do so many companies spend so little time hiring?
If you are aiming to build a flexible and supportive work environments then it helps to have employees who are effective, trust worthy and high performing. Low performing employees are a management burden anyway, let alone if you’re trying to make your organisation more open, transparent and supportive of flexible working.
So get it right by hiring the best. We can help you with this. I’ve even written a book about hiring the best.
Let’s put it this way – your management team will either make or break any initiative you have around changing your culture.
Your company culture is nothing more than group habit, it’s what people do everyday. It’s their behaviours. And the majority of behaviours are either caused or modelled by senior leaders and management. So we work hard to observe and understand your existing behaviours and suggest ways to nudge them to support your goals as a Flexi-parent employer.
Management must also work hard to “lose control” if they haven’t already – this means trusting talented people and giving guard rails for people to work within, but leaving them mostly alone to get the job done. A parent working only a few hours during the school hours for example, must be left to get their job done. And I tell you what, they’ll likely deliver more than if they spent their “full-time” hours in the office.
It’s no longer about hours work, but more about outcomes delivered – and this is a VERY hard concept for most managers to adjust to. We can help.
HR and Legal
As you make any move to support a segment of the workforce, you should do so with the right intention, but also within the rules of the law. We work with trusted and talented HR and Legal teams to ensure you have the right advice and cover in place to support both the organisation and your employees. Of course, you may already have your own HR and legal team.
Systems of Productivity
The IT, tooling, workplace, processes, flow of work, measures and targets by management and lots of other factors often guide people’s behaviours. They also influence your ability to support remote, flexible or part time workers.
Understanding how all of this pieces together means lifting your organisation out to a systems thinking level of understanding, and this requires deep skill and understanding. We can help you if this is a level of observation never studied before. Most organisation break down work and functions to the many constituent parts, but this causes failures, rising costs and an inability to create a flexible work environment.
Systems thinking helps to look at how actions in one area cause consequences elsewhere. From this we can understand what your real obstacles are, make small changes that have large impact and reduce your costs of operating whilst supporting a Flexi-parent culture.
There is no longer any reason for most business owners to not support a more flexible working environment for parents, whether that’s remote working, reduced hours or Flexi-time.
We work with you to understand your business, goals and ambitions and help you design the right place to work by focusing on the above 5 lenses.
Get in touch to chat through your requirements.
All consulting is delivered by experienced management consultants who have a track record of leading and managing high performing teams in a flexible work environment.