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Published: 26 Jun 2024

Grant Thornton UK LLP – Winner 2024, Best for All-Round Flexibility, sponsored by enei

Grant Thornton UK LLP has put people at the centre of its business strategy and key to their culture is the embedding of flexible working, showing a clear commitment to enabling diverse talent to thrive and growing an inclusive environment. 

A trust-based model 

Grant Thornton has created a culture in which everyone is trusted to work when, how and where they choose, to meet individual, team and client needs. People are empowered to be agile and work their contractual hours in the way that suits them. It is recommended that employees spend time in the office or at client site, to support collaboration and project work, with the rest of the time at home or where needed to deliver objectives. Formal flexible working is available to all employees from day one, including reduced, compressed or annualised hours including term-time only working, job sharing, and formal home-working. The reason for wanting flexible working isn’t asked and is not part of the decision-making process. Transparency and communication is prioritised to ensure workload and expectations are managed and leaders are encouraged to role model this approach. Managers receive training, resources and support on inclusive decision-making and unconscious bias to discuss career development without assumptions based on work pattern or caring responsibilities. 

Manageable Workload  

Grant Thornton ensures jobs are manageable by monitoring timesheets, excessive hours trigger conversations with a manager, and regular check-ins are held that discuss workload and allocation. Work-life boundary setting is encouraged and role-modelled by senior leaders. Annual leave allocations are reviewed periodically to ensure people are taking their leave. The importance of wellbeing is promoted, with regular firmwide pulse surveys monitoring how employees feel about their work-life balance.  Employee benefits include support and resources to support physical and mental health. 

Open to flex 

All job adverts state an openness to consider flexible working, and stories about flexible working options are shared internally and externally to highlight possibilities. The process to request flexible working is fully transparent and includes training guides for both employees and people managers, with video testimonies and tips to help set arrangements up for success from the outset. The process requests a business-critical reason as to why a flexible working request can be declined. Grant Thornton has established a thriving ‘Agile Talent Community’ that offers opportunities to people who prefer to work on a project-by-project basis as a contractor, receiving support and development opportunities but with the independence to manage their time as they wish throughout the working year.  

Measure of success 

The success of embedding flexible working is evident, with pulse survey results from October 2023 showing 85% of colleagues agreed they have control over their working life, and 79% felt they had access to the same opportunities and are included in decision making whether they work remotely or in an office. Moreover, in the firm’s 2023 DSE assessment, 90% of respondents said they had no concerns about managing work hours, workload or work-life balance. All of Grant Thornton’s people work in an agile manner.