Business case studies

Case Study: Centrica

Energy provider Centrica is a major employer in Scotland. It’s currently embedding greater flexible working - brought about by Covid - for the long-term so that it becomes part of their normal way of working

To help line managers, the company has created personas for distinct groups of employees who work in similar ways, and has worked with line managers to come up with the right solutions for individuals and teams.

A series of resources have also been created for line managers and are available through the company’s Flexible First intranet hub. These include guides on difficult conversations, returning to the office and conducting performance reviews remotely.

The company’s Flexible First approach aims to balance the needs of the customer, the preference of the employee and the health and safety of the employee and the team they are working in.

Virtual meetings and events have been held for line managers too, so they can ask questions and share experiences and advice.

Amanda Harrison, Head of HR consultancy in Centrica said: “Like many employers, we had to react quickly to the pandemic by providing our employees with flexibility to support our customers, whilst working safely and efficiently from home. We have found there are many benefits to this approach.

“The majority of our colleagues have told us they like having the flexibility to balance working from home and office, and we can see it’s having a positive impact on engagement and attracting people to work for us.

“We now want to embed this culture change for the long term and look for ways we can retain this flexibility, whilst meeting the ongoing needs of our customers. It’s no longer about responding to Covid, it is about creating a great place to work for our employees whilst meeting customer needs.

“However, it doesn’t matter what fantastic principles you come up with, success stands or falls on the real-time conversation between a line manager and employee. That’s why we need our managers to feel confident and equipped to have different conversations with their teams about performance and focusing on the customer whilst working flexibly. And they need to feel supported and equipped to do this.”

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