Mainstreaming Flexibility At Westpac Group

Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141.
Flexibility at the Westpac Group and our 2017 strategy
Making agile and flexible working a widespread and successfully
embedded best practice is a key business priority for our 2017 Strategy
To grow in a targeted way and ensure we remain strong, we need to:
• Be agile to meet our customer needs
• Mainstream flexibility for everyone
• Show leadership and best practice
• Focus on productivity and sustainability
• Pull together as one team
2012 Diversity & Flexibility Survey Results on Flexibility
For Westpac Group employees, being able to work flexibly is a key priority
• 62% of employees participate in flexible work arrangements, up from 44% in
• Fewer flexibility requests rejected (from 11% to 7.5%).
• Largest increase in uptake is working from home and irregular flexible work
• Most agreed that people working flexibly can deliver on customer needs and
supported continuation of flexible work arrangements.
• 82% of people indicated they would want to use some form of flexibility in the
next 3 years, compared with a projection of 58% in 2010. Of this, Over 50% of
employees would like to utilise flexible hours (current uptake 25%).
What is flexibility?
What does it mean to you?
Common Flex Options at Westpac Group
Some options currently being undertaken by people at the Westpac Group are:
• Part time
• Job share (sharing the responsibility for one role between two people)
• Flexible hours (flexible start and finish times and taking some hours off during
the day and working them back in later)
• Flexible leave days
• Compressed hours or work week (e.g. 10 hour day for 3 days per week)
• Mobile working regularly (work away from the office)
• Mobile working occasionally (work away from the office)
• Career break/extended leave (for up to 12 months)
• Additional leave
• Flexible career (being able to ramp up or ramp down career)
• Purchased leave
The World is Changing
The nature of our workplace and how and when we work is evolving. From the time flexibility
was introduced to now, the drivers behind flexibility have changed
In the beginning
Recent years
Now and into the future
• Recognition that flexibility
was needed for some
people to participate in
the workforce.
• The need for flexibility
extended to working
parents, mature age
employees and those with
carer needs of any kind
• People want to work
flexibly for any reason –
at all levels and all ages,
regardless of carer needs
• Part time and working
from home for working
• Flexibility has extended to
a broader range of
options and often a mix of
a number of methods of
working flexibly
• The benefits of flexibility
are being recognised - for
people, the business,
• Flexibility is becoming a
standard business
• Flexibility will be key to
productivity, sustainability
and performance
Our Mainstreaming Flexibility toolkit guiding principles
1. Flex is an individual construct
2. Approach flexibility at a team level
3. The opportunity to request flexibility is for everyone
4. Tools, policies and processes should be easy to use
and implement
Flexibility as a standard business practice
Evidence of quality flexibility and careers as a standard business practice
The Westpac Group proactively
sponsored industry leading
research to drive and inform the
flexibility agenda, with the Diversity
Council Australia.
Flexibility is a tool for increasing business
Everyone, at all levels, has an opportunity to
engage in flexibility.
All forms of flexibility are engaged in.
Flexibility is engaged for any reason.
There is a culture of flexibility that attracts and
retains talent.
There is a proactive approach to flexibility that is
evident in both the business strategy and in
management behaviour.
Flexibility is evident in both formal and informal
Those who engage in flexibility progress in their
The approach to flexibility is dynamic, adapting to
the changing needs of the individuals and the
The study identified 10 essential
elements for embedding flexibility
Source: Diversity Council of Australia, Get Flexible:
Mainstreaming Flexible Work in Australian Business
10. Flexibility is based on trust.
The Top 10 success factors in implementing flexible work at the
Westpac Group
1. Treating each request individually
2. Involving the team
3. Finding the wins and sharing stories
4. Creativity and innovation
5. Establishing clear expectations and responsibilities
6. Trust
7. Openness and dialogue.
8. Relationships and connection
9. Responding to changing needs
10. Full use of technology
What is your experience?
What are the main barriers to flexibility?
What specifically occurs?
What are the common comments or
Skill versus Will
Implements flexibility effectively
Awareness of the need for flexibility
Innovates - review and improve
Engagement in the benefits
In looking at your experiences, where do the barriers lie?
Skill versus Will – what development and support is required?
Do your leaders and people require assistance with ‘how’ to mainstream flexibility or does it
require a shift in mindset or ‘will’?
Will ‘want to’
High level of awareness and
engagement and low level of skill
What to do: guide on ‘how to’
implement flexibility
High level of awareness and
engagement and skillfully
embedding flexibility
What to do: coach to stretch goals
and encourage innovation
Low level of awareness and
engagement and low level of skill
High level of skill and low level of
awareness and engagement
What to do: coach for a shift in
mindset and direct on process
What to do: coach for a shift in
mindset and focus on benefits
Skill ‘can do’
Adapted from Max Landsberg’s Skill Will Matrix
A coaching process - using GROW to coach leaders on the journey
1. Goal
What you
could say
2. Reality
3. Options
4. Wrap Up
Lets first look at some ideal
outcomes so we know what we
are working towards
In order to understand the gap
between where you are now and
where you want to be, lets have
a look at the current situation
Rather than jumping straight into
solution mode, lets have a look
at what options you might have
so we know we are taking the
best course of action
Lets look at where to from here,
what we need to do and how we’ll
make sure you have the support
you need
What is the ideal outcome
• The individual?
• You?
• The team?
• Stakeholders?
• The business?
• Customers?
If there were no obstacles,
what would the ideal
outcome be?
What is the real, underlying
What is the cause of that?
What other reasons could
there be for this issue?
What are the needs of the
person involved?
What would (person) say
about the situation?
If that issue was resolved,
would this problem be
Jumping to solution mode.
Putting up obstacles focusing on the challenge
Not knowing the ideal
outcomes of all parties
No link to strategy
Making assumptions about
Lack of understanding of the
needs of the individual or
team member
Not having sufficient
you could
Things to
look out for
A clearly defined goal in line
with business strategy
Challenge assumptions and a
true understanding of the
current situation
What options are there to
achieve this goal and solve
the problem?
What have you already tried?
What else could you do?
What could you do that has
not been tried before?
What are the possibilities?
Sufficient consideration to
options available
Not thinking outside the
square – sticking to old ways
Sufficient consideration to
options available and
selection of the best solution
Given the outcome to be
achieved, what is the best
option here?
What combination of options
might be appropriate?
What support or resources do
you need?
What are the risks? What
might we need to think of in
When will we follow up?
How will you review success?
Anything that might get in the
way of follow through
Any risks that might need to
be managed
Agreed actions and follow up
Where to next?
•Design the journey:
From and to
Step by step
•Be a part of the journey:
Measure the benefits
Adjust for success
Questions and wrap up
Thank you

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