"Without the ability to work flexibly I wouldn't have been able to progress my career in something I absolutely love … and to raise my children the way I want to."
Peggy Koutsos, Principal Advisor, Ministry for Primary Industries
Flexible working has been a key component of the Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI) diversity and inclusion strategy since 2017. Many people at MPI were already working flexibly, both formally and informally, but their experiences, and attitudes towards flexible work, weren’t consistent across the business.
MPI developed a plan to build the agency’s flexible working capability, engaging with unions throughout the development of the strategy and its implementation. The PSA was a great advocate and support for the work MPI was promoting.
The initiatives and tools used to build flexible working capability include:
- Engagement through a series of 22 workshops and focus groups throughout the country and an organisation-wide survey to understand more about how flexible work operates within the Ministry, how supportive the agency is, what barriers exist, and attitudes to and experiences of flexible working.
- Peer-to-peer learning sessions to provide staff and managers with a forum to share experiences, best practice and learn from others.
- Normalising flexible working through case study videos of diverse employees and leaders who make flexible working ‘work for them’.
- An online information hub on the Ministry’s intranet to increase awareness of flexible working and why it’s important. It includes information on the different flexible working options available, rights and obligations, and points people to more information and resources including manager and employee toolkits.
- An eLearning page to provide practical behaviour change ideas for MPI managers and teams, equipping them with the knowledge and approaches to work more flexibly. Resources include flexible working team charter templates, technology suggestions, team culture resources, references for mental health, and messages for managers on ways of managing remote teams.