The emergence of the gig economy in recent years has put the benefits of flexibility in the limelight once again. This has raised important questions about flexible working arrangements, with more and more people trying to rejig their work-life balance.
Corporate organisations are trying to help, with the introduction of various flexible working arrangements such as flexi-time hours, working from home, early finish Fridays, and so on.
These adjustments have made a big difference while being quietly implemented. But in Australia and New Zealand, one corporation is causing a ruckus – literally and figuratively.
The new policy inspiring employees to leave work
Robbie Rietbroek, the CEO of PepsiCo Australia & New Zealand, has introduced a new policy which encourages the management and senior members of staff to announce when they’re leaving early and why.
More than that, it actively asks senior members of staff to leave early so that they can redress the work-life balance for their employees across the board.
The policy encourages senior staff to announce that they’re leaving early, in the hope that those leaders will set a positive example to employees, encouraging them to take a similarly flexible approach to their work life.
The aim has been to reduce what Rietbroek and his team call “presenteeism”, the tendency of junior members of staff to stay late at work. The programme is attempting to change attitudes as well as work culture by focusing on the benefits of flexible working.
‘Leaders Leaving Loudly’ is just one of several flexible work policies introduced at PepsiCo by Rietbroek that centre around work-life balance. While these policies are geared towards families with children, employees without children are also encouraged to work flexibly.
Does this policy work?
So what are the benefits of this sort of policy? A 2015 study into flexible working and employee engagement found that the two are linked, with flexible arrangements helping to promote positive work attitudes.
This, in turn, helps to influence levels of employee engagement – by as much as 22% in some cases, according to the Harvard Business Review.
This data comes from the Gallup Organization, an analytics and employment consultancy based in the US. The company has published other data which confirms that high levels of employee engagement and increases in productivity are correlated.
One of the other benefits that PepsiCo has manged to derive from its flexible working arrangements is the reduction in employee turnover, from 12% to 7%.
Should your workplace introduce Leaders Leaving Loudly?
There are clear business benefits underlying the introduction of these policies – so should you consider implementing something similar at your workplace?
So far, only PepsiCo is leading with the Leaders Leaving Loudly policy, but the nature of the programme is bound to make it a popular one. The policy has been widely praised across the media in America, Australia and New Zealand for its progressive approach.
Flexible work arrangements are becoming more and more popular, and so it is likely that your staff will be in favour of policies like Leaders Leaving Loudly. Deciding whether introducing such a programme could benefit you will depend on the nature of your business, but offering flexible working can benefit you as much as much as your employees.