ScottishPower, Finalist 2016, The Direct Line Group Best for Embedded Flexibility Award

Key features

  • A ‘business as usual’ approach to flexible working while still implementing new ideas to embed flexibility further.
  • Managers are trained in managing flexible working and in 2015 over 90 per cent of requests for flexible working were agreed.
  • ScottishPower is implementing ‘smart working’ to enable employees to adopt less formal flexible working to blend work and personal time.
  • Plans for 2016 include the introduction of flexible benefits to meet the needs of all modern families.

ScottishPower has worked hard to ensure that flexibility is business as usual for their employees. However, the company is still working towards new initiatives and does not consider the journey to be over. ScottishPower receives feedback from employees via a number of routes including an employment engagement survey.   The company consistently receives a positive score on flexible working from both employees and managers. Respondents to last year’s employee engagement survey indicated that they felt the organisation “offers a range of diverse opportunities,” “promoted good practices within the workplace for the well-being of employees” and that “managers are supportive and flexible”.

ScottishPower trains managers in managing flexible working arrangements, which is key to embedding flexible working as part of working culture. The company receives high quality feedback from managers with regard to the training on managing flexible working requests. In 2015, 94 per cent of formal requests for flexible working were agreed without change while an additional 3 per cent were changed and agreed in negotiation with the employee. Only 3 per cent were not agreed.

During 2015, ScottishPower extended awareness and understanding by establishing a dedicated diversity area on its employee portal, allowing heightened visibility of policies and practices. They have collaborated with employees via focus groups and employee surveys to ensure change is meaningful, and keep managers abreast of policy and process changes through dedicated ‘Manager Direct Live’ sessions. These include webinar and regular email updates and telephone support. Enhanced performance through the use of technology and social media has improved project delivery, productivity and collaboration between employees, regardless of their location.

ScottishPower is currently working to develop flexible working arrangements by implementing smart working which allows employees to agree ad hoc working arrangements within their teams. This allows a form of flexibility which can be implemented without the restraints of a formal arrangement. For example, an employee may take some time out during their working day to attend a personal appointment. The ethos behind this is to recognise that work and personal time can be blended to suit individual preferences.

Key activities and targets during 2016 include the introduction of flexible benefits. A new online employee benefit portal ‘Your ScottishPower Benefits’ has been launched with an expanded range of benefits for employees and their families. This is a web-based portal and provides employees a new way to access, review and change their benefit offerings. It also offers greater flexibility in the choice of benefits available and can be accessed from home and work.

ScottishPower’s objectives are to transition to a working culture which supports modern working families and takes account of the different needs of all generations.