Working dynamically


Barclays has just rolled out a dynamic working campaign globally in a bid to embed a new future-proof work culture.

The campaign was launched in the UK in November, but the response was so positive that Barclays decided to roll it out globally from June. “It was always our intention to go global,” says Wendy Papworth, Director, Global Diversity and Inclusion, “but we thought we would do it one region at a time.”
Barclays has offered flexible working for a long time with people using it for a wide range of reasons from family responsibilities, to involvement in community projects to transitioning back to work from sickness, but its policies have not necessarily been high profile.

The campaign means that Barclays can promote the multiple benefits of dynamic working for employees as well as customers, including extended opening hours.

Wendy says the words dynamic working encapsulate how people work, that work and life are integrated and that people’s work lives do not necessarily follow “nicely organised patterns”. “They recognise that our colleagues have ambitions in their personal and professional lives,” she says. “The campaign celebrates the richness of how we work and opens up conversations around dynamic working. It’s about creating a cultural mind shift.” She adds that the term ‘dynamic working’ also suggests something that is broader than mums working part time.

The campaign will last around 18 months – enough time for it to become embedded and for dynamic working to become the norm. It has four key components.

Firstly, it involves colleagues sharing stories about how they work dynamically. These will be promoted using a multimedia approach, consisting of posters, postcards, vlogs and on online communities across the globe using multimedia. The people represented will work different patterns for different reasons, including a senior leader in South Africa who is an international power lifter and needs time to train, mums who do job shares and people who need time off to study. “The stories from across the globe are very powerful. They can give people ideas and help them to begin conversations,” says Wendy.

Secondly, the campaign includes dynamic working champions who are passionate about the campaign and are willing to give time to talk to their colleagues and managers about how they make it work for themselves and their teams. Wendy says there are areas she expected would have challenges for dynamic working such as investment banking, but she has been encouraged to see how champions have made it work in those areas of the business. “You can’t pigeonhole any part of the business as struggling with this agenda,” she says. “We do not want to define what dynamic working is. The boundaries of every role will dictate what type of dynamic working will work.”

Thirdly, there are line manager clinics, both on line and in person, run by line managers.

Fourthly, the campaign includes colleague events, such as roadshows organised by the bank’s employee diversity network groups ranging from the disability network to multicultural networks, where people can share their experiences.

Wendy says the campaign has been received very positively and there has been lots of traffic to the online dynamic working community site which acts as a one-stop shop for everything related to dynamic working. “Lots of ideas have been generated,” says Wendy, adding that Barclays will be getting champions together to share what they have heard from colleagues about the campaign.

Over the next few months, Barclays will start master classes for line managers around specific topics such as managing large teams with multiple dynamics and managing global teams. It also plans to reach out to Barclays alumnae, former employees who it is keen to welcome back, as well as new potential recruits.

The dynamic working campaign has been backed by senior leaders who have done video blogs on what it means to them as individuals. Anthony Jenkins, who recently stood down as CEO of Barclays, did an all-colleague broadcast to launch the campaign. Its success will be measured through employee engagement surveys.

Wendy says technology has been a huge enabler of dynamic working and that Barclays is getting smarter at using it better, including to reduce its physical footprint. In addition to some homeworking in some roles, it has, for instance, introduced hot desking for non retail branch staff in its big retail branches. “We are looking very carefully at what the workplace of the future will look like,” says Wendy. “We want to encourage our colleagues and managers to think more innovatively and creatively about the whole world of work and how we can move away from the traditional 9-5 in one location.”

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