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Retention and progression

75% of employers say flexible working has a positive effect on retention.

Flexible Working Provision and Uptake, CIPD, 2012


What has flexible working got to do with retention and progression?

87% of employees either work flexibly already or wish they could. If there aren’t a range of flexible jobs available throughout their organisation, they won’t be able to progress. Some end up trapped in jobs below their skill level to keep their flexibility. Others leave to find it elsewhere.

Why is this an issue for employers?

It costs an average of £30,000 to replace an employee, so it doesn’t make sense to train up your staff only to lose them to a more flexible competitor. And having talented people working in roles they’re over-qualified for is bad for motivation, productivity, well-being and, as a result, your business.

So what should you do?

Design properly flexible roles at all levels. Take career development for flexible workers as seriously as for full-timers. And champion senior flexible workers to encourage those coming up behind them. That way you’ll hang on to, and get the best from, employees who want or need to work flexibly.

Tesco: creating flexible pathways to management roles


Tesco is one of five companies that took part in our Retail Pioneer Programme in 2018, exploring ways of incorporating more flexibility into management roles within stores.

We worked with Tesco to unlock the operational and cultural barriers to flexibility at management level, piloting ways to deliver better work-life balance for managers and create more appealing, flexible career paths.

Following the pilot, the majority of managers reported improved satisfaction and work-life balance due to having more input into determining their shift patterns. This ability to achieve the right balance between work life and home life is expected to help colleagues to stay with the company, and be able to progress.

How we can help

Our consultancy and training team can work with you to create flexible roles throughout your organisation, so employees who need to work flexibly can stay and progress. We can also deliver workshops and training sessions to help HR and line managers support and develop flexible workers.

Call 020 7633 4444 or email

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