One 2 One gets flexible to cut high staff turnover

Mobile phone company One 2 One is
introducing flexible working practices to help tackle the crippling skills
shortages that the sector is suffering and aims to cut its staff turnover by 10
per cent.

The company hopes to reduce
its turnover from 25 per cent to 15 per cent over the next year.

Job sharing is the
main practice being introduced.

 Steve Peace, employee relations adviser at
One 2 One, wants 2 per cent of its 6,400 staff to take up the option by the end
of the year. He then expects the scheme to increase in popularity once
employees see the benefits.

Peace said two people
performing the same role will be more creative and productive than one.

He said, "Job
sharing is the ultimate in flexibility and has the added advantage of
generating more ideas. It should produce a more motivated workforce that I
would expect to increase productivity."

Nearly 60 per cent of
the organisation’s workforce is female, so Peace anticipates that the take up
will be high.

"Even though we
have a lot of female workers, the introduction of flexible working is not just
an initiative for them, or for parents, either.

"Its aim is to
make the company be seen as a good employer and to attract quality, skilled
staff during the current skills shortage," he said.

Other flexible working
practices being introduced include compressed hours, including nine-day
fortnights, term-time working and annualised hours.

Peace stresses,
though, that employees will not be forced to change their working practices and
that One 2 One, which had a turnover of £1.8bn last year, will phase in job
shares gradually.

"Otherwise, there
could be some resistance to change. We will have to educate our staff in to
this cultural change," Peace said.

By Paul Nelson

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