Reuben Sinclair – Winner 2023, Best for flexible working sponsored by Arnold Clark
Reuben Sinclair epitomises flexible working, with an approach that embodies trust and autonomy and an appreciation of the benefits of investing in people, borne out by the impressive progress evidenced.
In response to their own post-pandemic research that recognised the desire to fulfil personal priorities at work, and wider research that highlighted the often skewed flexibility toward high-performers, Reuben Sinclair implemented full flexibility across the organisation, giving all employees freedom to choose where, when and how they work. There is one office day per week, which is voted on quarterly and has flexible start and finish times, to facilitate togetherness, learning, socials and preservation of culture. The office is open and available 24/7 for all employees who want to use it. Every employee can carry out personal commitments during the working day without explanation or justification. Parental leave is generous, offering 16-weeks maternity pay up to 90% and up to four weeks fully paid paternity leave with further options to increase leave for both mothers and fathers.
Reuben Sinclair recognises the risk of burnout, particularly working long hours in a remote environment, and created a flexible working policy to reflect this. Keeping stress and workload to a minimum is a central feature, allowing the opportunity for everyone to maintain mental and physical wellbeing. Outside of the flexibility that employees have in choosing the hours they work, there is care taken regarding the amount of work each employee takes on, and taking a lunch break is insisted on. Monthly social events, fostering a sense of belonging, take place during working hours, as do personal training and development, and charity days. Measures are in place to support mental health with an Employment Assistance Programme in place and access to mental health councillors 24/7.
There is an emphasis on equitable career development opportunities across the company. A set career path is in place for all employees, which includes promotion targets and objectives. Each employee takes part in a quarterly review where performance and development opportunities are discussed. There is an impressive training offer for the size of the organisation. Employees are appraised by a skillset matrix and follow a three-stage career training programme, with each stage containing over 27 training modules, chosen by employees.
The success of the flexible working policy is evident in the impressive progress made in staff turnover, reducing from an average of 30% pre-pandemic to just 7.5% average. Productivity has also seen incredible growth of 43% in one year and profitability increased by 23%.