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Published: 26 Jun 2024

Royal Academy of Engineering – Finalist 2024, Best for All-Round Flexibility, sponsored by enei

The Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) is a people-first organisation that supports individual working styles and promotes inclusive ways of working to enable people to thrive and progress.

A collaborative approach

Policies and ways of working have been developed through collaboration between the People Team, Senior Leadership Team, networks, employee reps and colleague feedback that ensures they work for everyone at every stage of their career and life. Collaboration tools such as Teams, Miro, Whiteboard are used to make remote working easier.

Person-centred policies

The RAEng welcomes and supports a variety of working patterns including part-time,

compressed weeks or fortnights, remote working, term time working and job share. The ‘Your Day, Your Way’ hybrid working principles enable informal flexibility that means the need for formal flexible requests has been reduced. There is flexibility around start and end times when needed and clarity on the core hours across the Academy which were implemented to help fit around school drop offs for those with school aged children, and a digital nomad policy enables working outside the UK. Sabbaticals are available so that people can take time out and return to their role to take a break, focus on their caring responsibilities or explore their personal aspiration, and phased returns are offered to those who have been on extended periods of leave to ease the transition back to work.

A culture of inclusivity

Flexible working is the norm that is talked about and embraced at all levels, from the CEO and COO to all levels. All staff meetings are hybrid and rotated on different days to enable participation. Emails include a message that normalises flexible working, and there is an email moratorium from 7pm to 7am to discourage out-of-hours responses. RAE assess every role’s suitability for flexible working prior to recruitment, and adverts state the flexibility available.

Instead of appraisals, RAE focus conversations around development goals and career aspirations, and progression is assessed on the personal and business case rather than just the role, ensuring opportunities are available for those working flexibly. A Carers Network is just one of many employee networks that enables people to come together and share experiences.

The measure of success

As well as growing the amount of positive feedback from all demographics of employees, the RAEng have increased engagement scores, and seen more participation in social events and the numbers of people volunteering to be part of employee groups that help shape the organisation. Moreover, RAEng have radically reduced their average employee turnover rate.