Aurecon has achieved the Flex Able Certification for the third year in a row. By mainstreaming flexible work arrangements Aurecon is now able to focus on building its workforce for the future and enabling its purpose ‘Bringing ideas to life’.
One of the ways that Aurecon is making this workplace shift is through a focus on inclusive leadership. It is one thing to have diversity in the workplace. It is another thing for people to feel a sense of belonging, of being valued and psychologically safe. The most important factor for high performing teams, according to Google’s multi-year, multi-million Project Aristotle, is psychological safety and it is through inclusive leadership that the power of diversity is unleashed.
So far, Aurecon has rolled out its inclusive leadership program to over 750 people in Australia and New Zealand. What started with just the senior leadership team has now been rolled out to line management and other teams by request.
Inclusive leadership revolves around experiencing empathy through recalling personal experiences of inclusion or exclusion, and an activity Aurecon calls the Diversity Walk. Participants accept a card with a persona and embody that persona while responding to a range of questions. It’s simple but effective – we don’t often actively put ourselves in the shoes of others. Individual reflections of this experience are very powerful. The Leadership Shadow tool is also used before, during and after the session to set and monitor behavioral change in leadership.
“If you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The importance of genuine empathy for human beings is as true today as it was back then.
Aurecon saw a real shift in the uptake of parental leave by men (an increase from 7% in mid 2017 to 22% in mid 2018 ) after they changed their parental leave policy to include shared care provisions. By experiencing part time and flexible work, it is expected that people could see that flexible work wasn’t such a big deal, to integrate it into their way of working in the longer term.
The transformative change and mindset shift around flexible working has given each individual agency over their own working patterns. It has freed people up to know that it doesn’t matter what they need to do outside of work, that they can do it.
Diversity and Inclusion Manager, Penny Rush says “There is a lightness that comes from feeling safe to make choices to integrate work and the rest of life and this has led to positive changes in behaviors and our culture.”
Esmaralda Naude, Tax Accountant at Aurecon noted: “From my previous job, I understood taking a reduced working hour arrangement meant a reduction in your pay but still the same amount of work and hours as for a full time arrangement. At Aurecon I have luckily experienced the opposite.”
The results of Aurecon’s commitment to flexible working is now evident. Female representation is now at 32% and 92% of their people say that they have the flexibility they need. A lack of flexible work arrangements no longer appears as a top five reason for leaving in exit surveys.
Congratulations Aurecon on qualifying once again to be a Flex Able Certified Employer.
About the Flex Able Certification
Flexible working is not just for mothers returning to work but for those with other caring commitments, health reasons, sporting interests, people looking for an alternative to retirement and those pursuing side projects. Companies with the most engaged workforces offer flexibility and are focused on creating an inclusive culture where the reason for needing flexibility does not matter.
But how can you tell which employer is truly walking the talk when it comes to offering flexible work? WORK180’s Flex Able Certification helps job seekers know what companies place a strong focus on flexibility in addition to being an employer of choice for women.
WORK180 is an international jobs network that connects smart businesses with the very best female talent. We pre-screen every employer on our jobs board to see where they stand on pay equity, flexible working, paid parental leave, equal opportunities and a range of other criteria. We also take into account diversity initiatives focusing on age, ability, ethnicity and sexual orientation.
The information we uncover is made public on our website, so that everyone knows what to expect from each employer before applying for a job. We continually review and evolve our pre-screening criteria to ensure workplaces are fair and equal for everyone.