Barclays’ believes that when colleagues are free to be their whole selves they can be more, and achieve more. The organisation’s Dynamic Working Campaign (DWC) was designed to help employees recognise that people have many roles throughout life, both at home and at work, and may need the flexibility to undertake them all.
DWC is supporting a cultural transformation beyond flexibility towards true agility.
Feedback from the Employee Opinion Survey and employee Listening forums, identified that there were pockets of best practice around flexible working but that these were inconsistently applied across the firm. Yet the survey also showed higher engagement, of more than 20 points, amongst employees who had control over where, how and when they worked. DWC reinvigorated its commitment to ensuring employees are aware that the firm’s Flexible Working Policy is a core part of the employee engagement proposition.
The DWC project team includes representatives from business areas, HR and Diversity and Inclusion, as well as 15 volunteers keen to take an active role in the cultural change programme. Project plans for helping the organisation to work dynamically were agreed by the Executive Diversity Council, with sponsorship from the Group HR Director and dedicated budget.
The focus was on supporting colleagues regardless of their level to be able to flex their work around what matters to them. These could be small yet significant changes or more formal contractual arrangements, such as occasional leave, time to fulfil trustee obligations, daily elder-care requirements or simply later/earlier start-times to accommodate a short-term need. This flexibility enables individuals to integrate personal and professional needs more effectively.
For implementation, the project team honed in on components critical for cultural shift, including:
- Line manager clinics: 2,500 attendees were able to build advocacy skills, offset concerns around flexible working and discuss mitigating barriers
- Real role-model champions: 350 individuals donated 10minutes to talk over concerns or practical questions with colleagues
- A widespread communications campaign: videos, case studies, posters, intranet articles, blogs communicated the approach and profiled realistic role models
- Leader led discussions: held at team meetings, town-halls and lunch-and-learn sessions to explain ‘why this matters’ and their own experiences
DWC brings inclusive benefits for all, but by normalising agile cultures women can more easily balance career and personal priorities.
Some colleague feedback includes:
Working flexibly for 11 years as a single parent and elder-carer, while progressing from AVP to MD, means I’m a huge advocate of DWC.
I’m a proud father who thankfully got a career break to support my daughter at the pivotal GSCE exam time. The business immediately understood my need and fully supported me straight away.