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Implementing a flexible working framework and training package for enhanced workforce culture

Implementing a flexible working framework and training package for enhanced workforce culture

Home » Case studies » Implementing a flexible working framework and training package for enhanced workforce culture

An NHS foundation trust, in collaboration with NHS Midlands and Lancashire, developed a flexible working framework and training package to promote a culture of flexibility, enhance recruitment and retention, and improve employee wellbeing.

Background

Following the 2022 national staff survey results, the trust implemented a hybrid working policy to increase flexible working options. They approached NHS Midlands and Lancashire’s (ML) People Programmes and Consultancy team to design a flexible working framework and training package to steer their culture in a new direction and embed flexibility into everyday operations.

Action

NHS ML’s People Programmes and Consultancy team conducted research and reviewed best practices and national policies to design a flexible working framework aligned with the trust’s vision to improve health and wellbeing. The framework was also aligned with the NHS People Plan and Promise, supporting the concept of the NHS as a modern employer that prioritises employee health and wellbeing.

The framework included:

– Links to local and national drivers and the case for change.

– Underlying principles for the framework.

– Trust’s approach to flexible working.

– Key principles to enable flexible working.

– Support tools, including team talk templates and case studies.

In addition, a training package was developed for people managers to help embed a cultural shift within the trust. The training covered:

– Drivers for change

– Definitions and perceptions of flexible working

– Best practices and common pitfalls

– Current views on flexible working

– Flexible working scenarios

– Compassionate leadership

– Resources and videos

Impact

The framework and training package was designed to improve the trust’s national staff survey scores on flexibility and embed elements of the NHS People Plan, including offering flexibility from day one. The expected benefits include:

– Supporting the trust in becoming a model employer

– Enhancing recruitment and retention of talent

– Increasing employee wellbeing and morale, positively impacting patient care

The training package aims to help managers understand and promote the benefits of flexible working, shaping a flexible culture at the trust. It will also help change negative perceptions of flexible working, equip managers to handle flexible working requests compassionately, and ensure compliance with legislative changes. additionally, recording all formal requests on their electronic staff record will help measure the effectiveness of the flexible working culture in the trust.

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