Henkel promotes Work-Life Flexibility
The working world is changing. On the one hand, new concepts are developing as to how, when and where work is done. On the other hand, however, expectations on the part of employees in regard to flexibility are also changing.
Flexible working opportunities are a key element in competition for the best talents and a releasing offer for those who are facing the challenge of reconciling private and professional life.
To further move Henkel’s transition from a culture of presence to a culture of trust and performance, all board members as well as Henkel’s top management sent out a very powerful signal to the employees: As part of an official commitment act the entire top management signed an internal Charter of Work-Life Flexibility.
The basic idea of this charter initiative is to further increase the acceptance of flexible working arrangements by the liability of a voluntary yet personal commitment to this topic. The Charter of Work-Life Flexibility is embedded into a global commitment that contains the key elements of this initiative. In addition, a specially developed competence page, which can be found on the company’s Intranet, delivers extensive information on work-life flexibility. Different self-assessment questionnaires help line managers and employees to set realistic expectations. Further key elements of this page are our role models for work-life flexibility arrangements, tool boxes and process descriptions as well as an extensive Q&A database.
Henkel has already implemented various flexible working models like flextime, part-time working, wider use of mobile devices, and home office arrangements. And in most cases these approaches work very well, with all parties benefiting – the company, the line managers, and the employees who can then allocate their time more effectively according to their specific needs. However, each flexible working model needs to be properly aligned to the requirements of the job and the business environment.
The response to this initiative supports the approach: Even during the first few hours following the official launch there was a rapid rise in the number of Charter signers up to 200 executives. Today, one and a half months later, the barometer has cracked the magic 600 signers mark. Additionally, more than 195 managers offered to share their personal conviction, why work-life flexibility is of fundamental importance with a public statement on the Intranet page.
This whole Work-Life Flexibility initiative was prepared and implemented with the support and cooperation of all global diversity managers and ambassadors of Henkel around the world.