RESOURCE 5 - AGENCY SELF-ASSESSMENT TOOL13

The following tool is designed to help you assess how developed your current approach to flexible-by-default is in seven key action areas and help determine where to target effort in your shift to flexible-by-default.

FLEXIBLE-BY-DEFAULT MATURITY MODEL

Limited

  • Not flexible-by-default
  • No recognition of how flexible working practices can promote gender equality and diversity
  • Flexible working policies/ practices only exist to the extent they are required by legislation

Basic

  • Not flexible-by-default
  • Flexible working policies/ practices are provided to meet the needs of specific groups or individuals
  • Typically, flexibility is seen as a human resource function only.

Embedded

  • Considered to be flexible-by-default.
  • Flexibility becomes strategic in the mindset, systems and culture
  • Flexible working is expected, normalised and equitably accessible and does not undermine career progression or pay
  • Employment agreements may also include flexible- working policy and/or flexible working clauses to enable sustainable flexible-by-default work policies and practices
  • Flexible-by-default is enhancing agency agility and performance.

How to use the self-assessment tool

Agency staff responsible for the implementation of flexible working, and/or implementing the Gender Pay Gap Action Plan and/or diversity and inclusion, can seek input from a cross-section of senior leaders, line managers, diverse employees, unions, HR practitioners, employees who work flexibly for a range of reasons and in a range of ways, and employees who do not work flexibly. This will ensure that the assessment is as accurate as possible. This can be done through a series of conversations, meetings or workshops.

In each key area there are descriptions of agency policies, practices and/or culture under the maturity headings of ‘limited’, ‘basic’ and ‘embedded’. In response to each question, select the description that is closest to your agency’s practices, polices or culture.

MEASURING AND MONITORING

Limited

  • No deliberate recording or monitoring of flexible working arrangements (formal part-time arrangements solely for salary and conditions purposes).
  • Little information gathered on employees’ and managers’ uptake, experiences of, and attitudes to flexible working.

Basic

  • Basic recording of the uptake of flexible work arrangements, with an emphasis on formal arrangements.
  • Some information has been gathered from managers and employees on their experiences of, and attitudes to, flexible working.

Embedded

  • Information is periodically gathered from managers, employees and unions on uptake of, experiences of, and attitudes to the full range of flexible working options.
  • Information is reported to leadership, shared with managers, employees and unions, and used to strengthen flexible-by-default within the agency.

FLEXIBLE-BY-DEFAULT VISION AND GOALS

Limited

  • Limited or no vision or goals around organisational flexibility or moving to a flexible-by-default approach.

Basic

  • General strategy around flexible working but not about the move to a flexible-by-default approach.

Embedded

  • Clear vision and goals about moving to flexible- by-default, linked to the agency’s wider strategic goals.
  • The strategy covers all the actions involved in shifting to flexible-by-default.

FLEXIBLE-BY-DEFAULT PLANNING

Limited

  • No plan to guide the shift to flexible-by-default.

Basic

  • High-level plan includes some of the actions involved in shifting to flexible-by-default.

Embedded

  • A full plan guides all the actions involved in shifting to flexible-by-default.

FLEXIBLE-BY-DEFAULT COMMUNICATIONS

Limited

  • Limited or no communication on flexible working or the policies and guidelines related to flexible working.

Basic

  • Some ad hoc communication on the availability of flexible working.
  • Information on agency policies and guidelines regarding flexible working is available but not on a flexible-by-default approach.

Embedded

  • A communications plan supports a shift to flexible-by-default across the agency.
  • Information is readily available and easily understandable to employees and unions on policies and practices related to flexible-by- default.

FLEXIBLE-BY-DEFAULT ENGAGEMENT

Limited

  • No engagement with managers, leaders, employees and unions on flexible-by-default.
  • No engagement to identify flexible working benefits, concerns and/or challenges.

Basic

  • Some engagement with managers, leaders, employees and unions on moving to flexible-by-default.
  • Engagement begun about the benefits of flexible working, as well as concerns/challenges and how to address these.

Embedded

  • Regular engagement with managers, leaders, employees and unions to build/maintain a flexible- by-default culture.
  • Engagement is used to identify the benefits of flexible-by-default and how to address concerns and challenges.

FLEXIBLE-BY-DEFAULT CULTURE AND CAPABILITY

Limited

  • No communication from the executive leadership team about the benefits of flexible working for the agency.
  • Low awareness of the benefits of flexible working for employees and agencies and traditional biases toward flexible workers are common.
  • No support for managers to effectively manage flexible employees or teams.

Basic

  • The executive leadership team supports flexible working but has made no statements about flexible-by-default.
  • Some managers of high-functioning flexible teams are supportive of flexible working.
  • Managers can seek learning and development around managing flexible teams, but it is not proactively provided by the agency.

Embedded

  • The executive leadership team clearly communicates how flexibility will help achieve the agency’s goals and the rationale for being flexible-by-default.
  • Flexible-by-default widely understood and supported by leaders, managers, employees and unions.
  • Flexible working is available regardless of gender and does not affect progression or pay.
  • Learning opportunities available to managers to support them to manage flexible-by-default teams.

POLICIES, PROCESSES AND SYSTEMS TO SUPPORT FLEXIBLE-BY-DEFAULT

Limited

  • Limited IT to support flexible
  • The impact of flexible working on health and safety has not been considered.
  • No consistent approach to making and considering flexible working requests.
  • The impact of flexible working on data security and privacy of information has not been considered.

Basic

  • Some flexible working- enabling IT is available.
  • Health and safety policies and practices are being reviewed in the light of flexible working options.
  • Processes in place for making and considering flexible working requests but do not include a flexible-by-default approach.
  • Some safeguards are in place to maintain data security and privacy of information when employees work remotely.

Embedded

  • Flexible working-enabling IT in place across the agency.
  • Health and safety policies and practices consider remote working and are communicated in guidelines and training resources.
  • Consistent processes and practices for making and considering flexible working requests, consistent with a flexible-by-default approach, which may be included in employment agreements.
  • Safeguards in place to maintain data security and privacy of information when employees work remotely.

 

13Adapted from the Australian Government Workplace Gender Equality Agency flexibility diagnostic assessment guidance. For more information on the full assessment tool visit Flexibility readiness assessment guide© Commonwealth Government of Australia 2018

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