Nationwide's six Contact Centres throughout the UK are all slightly different in their culture, atmosphere and the type of work they do. But they have much in common too. We’re dedicated to creating contact centre environments where every employee feels part of the unique society that Nationwide is building. Where they feel valued, recognised and rewarded in equal measures. How do we achieve this? By being as supportive, helpful and considerate towards our employees as we are towards our members. Our Social purpose isn’t just a tag line As a building society and not a bank, we’ve always done things differently. We’re owned by and run for the benefit of our members, not shareholders, and have a duty to act in their best interests. We also passionately belief in flexible working being a prerequisite, not a special request. Although Nationwide is now a very large business, our primary purpose is still a social – not commercial - one. Just as was our purpose over 170 years, to help to co-operate and collaborate to improve the lives of ‘the industrious classes’, this still binds our interests with those of society more generally today. This purpose is epitomised by our people within our contact centres. Such as Yasmine, who works in our Northampton centre: “ Not only do we look after each other, but we look after our members so much as well; we always put them at the heart of everything we do.” Contact centres which are anything but stereotypes This belief in supporting our talented people is so important at Nationwide. We know that working in a contact centre can sometimes be challenging. You have to be resilient and you have to be customer-focused. But we’ll always make sure that you’ve got the support of the team, encouraging managers and plenty of opportunities to breakout and recharge your batteries. It’s all about finding the right balance. This support is provided by people like Mike, one of our trainers: “Agents get time off the phone for coaching and development. If there's anything we can do in that coaching session that's going to help that agent, let’s say, improve on a particular targeted area, then we also give them the necessary tools, the necessary guidance as well to help them improve in that particular area.” A future of opportunities We’re building our ‘society’ with a sense of community and the collective belief that we’re here to help and can make a difference. You’ll have the support to achieve your career goals, work in an environment where you can have a voice, and have access to lifestyle rewards that really are worthwhile. Help us build on our values and we’ll help you build an amazing career. We have flexible and part-time opportunities in [Bournemouth, Dunfermline, Northampton, Sheffield, Swindon and Wakefield]. View our current 2to3days job post, and to explore our contact centres and the opportunities further, click here.
The world of work is changing. Driven by technology, connectivity, new social models and more, work-life integration is the holy grail and the restrictions of the traditional 9-5 are no longer acceptable for many. Download our comprehensive guide to the key business drivers for flexible working to create a bespoke business case for your business.
It has been suggested that two key occurrences in the last year will have a big impact on workplace gender equality. James Davies, a managing partner on employment matters at Lewis Silkin LLP, London believes that the launch of the #MeToo movement in combination with the obligation on UK employers of more than 250 people to report gender pay gaps will catalyse real change. Gender Pay Gap With respect to the gender pay gap reporting, Davies states “This has forced employers to look at how best they can meaningfully respond to the pay gaps that most of them face” “The reasons for the gap are likely to be complex and many. Some will be societal and require political fixes. In the UK, the introduction of shared parental leave has done little to change the reality that primary childcare responsibilities still fall disproportionately on women.” The fact remains that although there has been legislation on a range of issues, change has not happened at any pace with Cranfield University reporting that only 10% of Executive Directors are women. There are steps that can be taken to address this, including training managers to identify unconscious bias; supporting flexible working arrangements; identifying and supporting senior female role models; working within sectors to increase the talent pool of women in under-represented roles; and ensuring pay and promotion decisions are transparent, consistent and reasoned. Reputational Issues Gender pay equality has been propelled to top-priority status in British boardrooms to an extent that is rare for employment law reforms, Davies states. Whilst equal pay and discrimination claims are possible, these are relatively few not least because of the personal and financial costs to the claimant. The issue driving change, as Davies sees it, is the reputational damage from being seen not to take gender workplace issues seriously. It can be more immediate, less controllable and far costlier than a legal claim. Social Media The ability for individuals to communicate globally through social media is a further change profoundly affecting employer attitudes. The case of Nicola Thorp in 2016 is one Davies uses. She was sent home from her receptionist job for not wearing sufficiently high heels attracting a high level of public attention after she posted this on Facebook. It eventually led to the UK Women and Equalities Commission publishing a report on high heels and workplace dress codes. Social media also comes into play when considering the #MeToo movement which likely could not have been so widespread without access to the public via social media channels. Responding to #MeToo Employers must confront the reality that traditional grievance processes have failed to give many women a voice to report workplace harassment says Davies. “Clearly, a very significant number of women of varying ages, and across all sectors, have been the victim of such unreported behaviour at work. “ “For employers, the challenge is to do all they can to provide a working environment in which the risks of harassment and discrimination are reduced as far as possible… Employers should act proactively to develop new pathways for employees to raise concerns internally, rather than on social media platforms” Summary In summary, Davies says “This year marks the 100th anniversary of women first being given the right to vote in the UK. The past few months have forced many to accept that, despite evident progress, we are not as far along the road to equality at work as we might have thought. Although the law has been (and will continue to be) an effective driver of sustained social change, the recent media scrutiny of workplace gender equality has held up a mirror to many employers’ complacency. That might be enough to make 2018 a tipping point. “ Read the full article Workplace Gender Equality- Will 2018 be a Tipping Point?in Who’s Who Legal.
The Happiness Index has revealed that women’s unhappiness with their lack of career opportunities is an issue as significant as the gender pay gap. Tony Latter, CEO, writing in Personnel Today, explained that their recent survey showed that regardless of sector and company size, women do not feel as valued as their male colleagues. “When we discuss females feeling less valued, we aren’t solely talking about pay. It’s part of a wider picture of women feeling unhappier than men at work. This suggests the concerns of female workers are not being addressed, in much the same way as pay levels have been overlooked for too long.” From the study, it was clear “Career development opportunities” were a serious issue. Women across all levels of seniority rated their career development opportunities as only 5.8 out of 10. These findings were replicated in another study by The Happiness Index looking at what factors affected the loyalty and likelihood that workers would promote the business they worked for. As with the study into workplace happiness, that men scored higher than women, meaning they were more engaged and satisfied at work. Men emphasised a need for higher wages and more opportunities for career development, while women focused on the need for increased appreciation, communication and respect. Both men and women highlighted a need to feel valued. “These attitudes are at the heart of the issue of unhappiness among women in today’s workplace. Our research showed that feeling valued was directly correlated to career progression,” said Latter. Latter explains why happiness is key to business performance: ‘Happiness is a catalyst for higher performance, enhanced creativity and productivity – all of which are vital attributes that employers will look for in deciding who should advance and fill higher-profile roles in the business.’ Giving access to development training and opportunities is one of the quickest ways for companies to improve the happiness of female employees at work, says Latter. “To be successful and create the right culture, businesses need to introduce initiatives to cultivate happiness across as much of the workforce as possible. But our evidence shows there is still a lot of work to do to reap the benefits of a happier female workforce and putting more thought into career opportunities is a good place to start.”
At 2to3days we see hiring flexibly as a no-brainer. Technology has made it possible to work anywhere at any time so employers are free to design roles that truly work for their business and their people. And we have launched our essential Guide to Flexible Working to help you make it work for your business. It’s 100 years since car manufacturer Henry Ford introduced the 40-hour working week. Despite Ford’s working week being created for another era, many employers still subscribe to the notion that this is the only way to operate. Employers need to analyse what works for today’s workforce. Even the idea of work-life balance doesn’t fit – the phrase has been around since the 1970s, a hangover from a time when work and life had to be separate. Now technology allows us to blend the two and attempts to separate them are artificial. Work is part of life. Talented candidates want to integrate the two. Work is an activity rather than a place. We no longer have to be in an office. Instead of measuring success by the time spent at work, savvy employers measure by output. The idea that flexibility should be a perk offered only to a chosen few is outdated. Expectations about work are changing and employers are racing to keep up. The biggest group in the workforce are now millennials, who are driven by a different set of values. According to KPMG’s 2017 report Meet the Millennials, millennials (or Generation Y) see flexibility as normal. “Generation X hoped for work-life balance, Generation Y simply demand it,” says the report. “If it’s possible for one, it’s possible for all and with so much happening outside of their working lives it’s expected as a norm on any job specification.” At 2to3days we focus on matching talented mothers with open-minded employers. Many women want to work - they enjoy their careers and want to have their own independence. Some mothers choose to work to pay for luxuries and some because they need to meet day to day living costs, which hit a near six-year high in November 2017. Meanwhile, men increasingly want to be actively involved in raising their children. Government is catching up with social change: the introduction of shared parental leave and legislation around the gender pay gap are two recent examples. Companies that hold onto the notion that jobs should be nine to five, five days a week, will lose the best talent to those who understand the world has changed. The future is now when it comes to flexible working. Employers need talented, motivated employees who are happy and healthy. Those that understand this and offer true flexibility will excel. Too many employers pay lip service to flexibility – scratch beneath the surface and their employees are disillusioned and exhausted. Instead of pressing the default button on full-time, it’s time to take a more sophisticated approach to job design. We urge employers to stop and work out how much time a job needs in terms of days or hours each week. Is it better to create two flexible jobs instead of one? There are as many ways to work flexibly as there are people. The term ‘part-time’ encompasses a very wide range of working patterns. At 2to3days we find the roles closer to full-time hours receive fewer applications. Usually, someone looking for a part-time schedule is likely to require at least a full day off a week. Squashing a full-time role into three or four days is not the answer. Use the list below to create a job advert that will instantly appeal to our mothers. Referring to school hours, term-time working or offering August off shows immediately that you understand the challenges mothers face. Help them see their career future with you. Shorter days: offering school hours working or flexibility in start or finish time can make all the difference. Compressed hours: working full-time hours but across fewer days. Term time only: some roles can be flexed to give our mothers the school holidays off. This is highly valued by candidates. Fixed hours each week: allowing a mother to spread a set number of hours (for example 20 hours) anytime across the week means they can manage their life and their career effectively. Job share: when you genuinely need a role to be done full-time then think about taking on a job share. Effective job shares offer two sets of skills for one role, require less management support (as they support each other) and present opportunities for holiday and sickness cover. The two mothers job sharing will be highly committed to making it work. Project work: the freelance model allows self-employed contractors to work with multiple clients, fulfilling specific needs over the short or long term. You get the benefit of keeping your costs under control but getting great quality of work and the mothers get to control their working hours. Matching business cycle peaks and troughs: most businesses have busy times of year and seasonal troughs. Those peak times can suit team members perfectly. For example, accountants may find October to April requires more ‘hands on deck’ than in August. Nine-day fortnight: an almost full-time contract that gives mothers space around the edges. Staggered hours: it can work for some employees to stagger their hours – starting and finishing early or coming in later and staying longer. This can even extend your hours of operation. Annualised hours: the employee works a certain number of hours over the year but has some flexibility about when they work. There can be ‘core hours’ which the employee regularly works each week, and they work the rest of their hours flexibly or when there is extra demand. Working from home: how much time is wasted commuting? Is it strictly necessary for them to come to the office each day? Commuting can be exhausting and productivity-sapping. Consider what level of home-working a role can support. Resizing a full-time job: break down a full-time job into two part-time roles The vast choice means most roles can encompass some flexibility (or a combination of options). The huge number of talented candidates using 2to3days to advance their careers demonstrates the demand. Stop and think what your business really needs and don’t just default to full-time. Think it through, plan accordingly and the business and employee performance will benefit. Get your copy of our essential Guide to Flexible Working and make it work for your business.
Don’t underestimate the power of your vision to change the world. Whether that world is your office, your country, your industry or a global movement. You need to have a core belief that what you can contribute can fundamentally change the paradigm or way of thinking about problems. Larry Hood Award-winning American Scientist Our beliefs influence our thoughts which govern our actions. Quite a lot of the time we aren’t even conscious of what we believe in, yet these unconscious beliefs govern the decisions we make at work. I am therefore really curious to understand what shelf space flexible working gets in your head, if at all. Awareness is the catalyst of change so I would love it if you would be bold and share with me what you believe when you consider the role flexible working can have on the performance and well-being of your company. Do you believe that the productivity and performance of your business will improve through flexible working? Or do you believe flexible working is a hassle to implement therefore you ignore it? Do you believe that children should have equal opportunities at school and therefore one would assume at work too? Do you believe that flexible working will hit your bottom line? Those of you with children do you tell your daughter and son that they can be whatever they want to be when they grow up? Do you really believe that or do you just not want to kill their dreams? Do you believe that your clients will leave you if your staff work flexibly? I would love to hear your reflections on these questions, or please share with me what you believe, as our beliefs are the power of change.
A new report from The Pipeline has emphasised just how much companies stand to gain by appointing more women in senior level roles. Profit margins are just under double in companies with at least 25% females on their Executive Committee compared to those with none. The third annual Women Count report revealed that, despite this unequivocal evidence, in the last three years there has been no progress on gender diversity in senior roles in the FTSE 350 and representation remains at 16%. The percentage of women on Executive Committees is said to be the best measure of gender equality in the FTSE 350, rather than representation on Boards, because executives have power in the running of a company. Some of the key findings included: FTSE 350 companies with no women on their executive committee only achieve an average 8.9 percent net profit margin. Where there are at least 25% women on executive committees, average net profit margins soar by 5 percent, to 13.9 percent. Nearly a quarter of FTSE 350 companies have no women on their executive committees. If all the FTSE 350 companies performed at the same level as those with at least 25% women on their Executive Committee, the impact could be £5bn gender dividend for Corporate UK Not only this, but just 6% of Executive Committee members are women in profit and loss (P&L) roles and the number of companies with no women in executive P&L roles has risen from 2016. As traditional route to CEO positions, the lack of women in these roles indicates a longer-term challenge for companies looking to benefit from the gender dividend. The report found that far from ‘queen bee’ syndrome, companies with female CEOs have almost twice the number of women on their Executive Committee, over three times the number of female executives in P&L roles on their Executive Committee and more than twice as many female executives on their main plc board setting these companies inline for higher profits. Commenting on the startling findings, the Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP, Chair of the Treasury Select Committee said: “This lack of progress calls into serious question the possibility of achieving the UK’s target of 33% by 2020 which I set in response to the Davies Report, as Minister for Women and Equalities in 2015. Businesses that don’t understand the need to appoint more senior executive women are failing to meet their full potential. I ask them to read this report and wake up to reality, in their own interests and the country’s interests.”
There is one week in the business calendar when a mother’s ability to juggle both home and work is seriously tested: the last week of the academic year. It’s fraught with Sports Day and prizing giving, and has the potential to create turbulence in the working week! This time of year the heat is turned up a notch at work as the Q2 results need to filed and overall there is a general accelerated pace of activity ahead of the pre-August exodus. So having to attend all of the end of term activities can cause eyes to roll and ‘I told you so’ being muttered under the breath of the flexible working cynics. Ironically, this time of year also clashes with the well-established 'corporate jollies’ amplified this year by the World Cup and England finally overcoming their fear of penalties and playing like a world cup team. Not to mention the glorious weather winking at you for a cheeky beer in the pub or a quick getaway to hit a ball down the fairway. When I am talking to companies about hiring talent, having a great attitude is the game changer for them all. Skills and relevant experience are vital – they get you to the start line but to win the race the pixie dust that we are all looking for in our ideal candidate is their attitude to do a great job, their ability to be a team player and make work a nice place to be. I’ve just attended two Sports Days and due to the nature of my business I actively stepped up my antenna to watch and listen and really understand how mothers, who are determined to progress their careers and be there for their children, make it work. Attitude #1 Discipline- She is up early and has dealt with all of her incoming emails Attitude #2 Planner– ahead of time she has studied the Sports Day schedule and quickly worked out, in the politically correct world that we live in, that her pride and joy is only starring in a maximum of four events, the rest of the time you are kicking your heels. So she is on a bench, laptop out, phone at her ear, working – the number of hand signals I got to inform me that she was on a conference call was high. Attitude #3 Organised– be it playdates after Sports Day, or taxis ready to zoom off to meetings, it was all sorted to military precision. Attitude #4 Present– she was there at the finishing line for each race – she did the high 5 and took the photo for the family album and to show their father later if he couldn’t make it! Attitude #5 Loyalty– there is no bunking off, she is there for you both and she got both jobs done. To get a job done ask a busy person - ask a mother! I would love to hear what other people’s top tips are to ensure that the balls aren’t dropped and the work still gets done at times when the domestic and business world collide.
Hiring great talent with the right skills experience and attitude is pivotal to business growth. Hiring flexibly is the key to unlocking this potential and the future is now. 2to3days is a national and dynamic community of progressive business leaders and mothers united in their commitment to support business performance and mothers’ career progression through the power of flexible working. With the UK facing a well publicised skills shortage, progressive employers are realising the potential that adapting working practices has on the ability to recruit and retain exceptional talent. We are accruing an absolute goldmine of information on how to realise the benefits of hiring flexibly for your business, as well as being an incredibly powerful route to access this talent. We want to share this knowledge with you through our newsletters and here’s our first one. We have called it 'The Voice of the Hood' as our aim is to regularly share with our ‘hood’ insights, ideas and stories which collectively will inspire you to think differently about how to harness the talent of the motherhood to improve the performance and well-being of your company. Please feedback and tell us what you like, don’t like and what you want more to see more of. Our sole aim is to be the catalyst for economic and social change.