Case study: Badenoch & Clark.
The 25 employees at recruitment and professional services specialists Badenoch & Clark (B&C) have enjoyed a range of positive, highly flexible working practices over the last 10 years as a result of strong leadership at board level in Scotland. “We have the opportunity to create a culture and develop a business model that suits the clients we serve,” explains Director Bonnie Clarke, “Early on in my time with the business it was clear we had the chance to nurture a unique team spirit and culture.”
That culture is founded on and measured in terms of the business benefits of keeping competent, high performers in the company no matter what life throws at them. B&C recognises each member of its team as an individual and is convinced it retains productive and committed employees by meeting their unique needs.
Employees refer to the organisation as the ‘B&C family’, reflecting its inclusive environment and family-friendly practices. 40% of its Scottish workforce currently works less than a standard full-time week and this possibility is signalled clearly at the recruitment stage because B&C recognises that the quality of a person’s contribution is not determined by the time they spend at work. Everyone is also offered a paid hour a week to use as they please.
This innovative approach to employee diversity and wellbeing is attracting new people who were unable to access flexibility in their previous workplace. One employee who joined B&C following her maternity leave explains: “My previous employer was going to demote me unless I would work four or five days. At B&C, I can continue my career part-time and still be at home with my children. I’ve even been promoted.”
The organisation also supports working families with childcare vouchers and flexibility to accommodate school holidays, meetings and events. B&C is aware of the need to engage with fathers so on top of encouraging men to tailor their own paternity leave the business will be offering flexibility for shared parental leave.
Overall the aim is to enable people to achieve work-life balance while progressing in their careers. Its strong management team helps facilitate this by ensuring that every employee’s contribution is recognised adequately regardless of their role or hours. Part-time working is no barrier to promotion and targets are tailored to suit each individual’s pattern of work. Additional support at difficult times is also part of the package with time away from the business made possible for activities to maintain or improve wellbeing.
B&C’s success as a top employer for working families is producing excellent results. For the past four years, B&C has retained every staff member who has a flexible working arrangement and its most recent satisfaction survey of all employees achieved a result of 100%.