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Practices to Build a Flexible Workforce as Outlined by Bain & Co.

  • Posted on October 15th, 2020
  • in Strategy
  • By Brian Tang, CFA

As organisations transition from crisis mode to recovery, they are prioritising greater and broader flexibility. By offering a hybrid model, teams are able to operate from home or the office, whichever location best suits them. 
In this report Bain & Co draws input from executives and other leaders regarding the practical solutions they are using now to support flexibility. The five most effective practices observed across corporate Australia include:

1. Ensure flexibility is flexible
2. Link flexibility to strategy and the customer
3. Model flexibility
4. Encourage and enable team flexibility
5. Support individuals to work flexibly
Ensure flexibility is flexible
•Ensure there is a flexible work policy applicable to all roles
•Implement an automated approval process
•Include a transparent measurement and reporting of formal and informal flexibility across the organisation; data analysed in connection with broader goals, including targets based on gender
Link flexibility to strategy and the customer
•Generate flexibility that is embedded in corporate, customer and culture strategies
•Demonstrate performance management and rewards that are focused on output and relevant input.
Model flexibility
•Have flexibility sponsored by the whole executive leadership team.
•Regularly showcase executives and line managers working flexibly for a variety of reasons.
•Implement ongoing flexibility metrics and include quarterly reporting.
Encourage team flexibility
•Empower teams to redesign their work for flexibility, with supporting documentation.
•Include new normals for meetings that are defined and practised widely.
•Activate team pulse checks and feedback loops 
Support Individuals
•Implement health and safety checks and practices that are appropriate for all types of employees 
•Utilise the best collaboration tools along with ongoing training available.
•Include ongoing financial support and resources for individuals to work from home.
•Provide training and coaching for working virtually and leading teams. 
•Implement a holistic health and well-being program and constantly work to improve it. 
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Brian Tang, CFA
Brian Tang, CFA

Brian has a unique background working at investment management firms, family offices, hedge funds, and private banks. He has advised senior management on strategic and investment decisions, led department-wide change initiatives, and is always looking to improve efficiency, teamwork, and collaboration.

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