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Flexibility in the Workplace presentation

Skills used: Teamwork, research, public speaking, cross-cultural communication Deliverables: Powerpoint Presentation.
Tools used: Microsoft Powerpoint, Microsoft Word Results: Delivered presentation at the Future of Human Resources conference.

While studying Human Resource Management at QUT, we were assigned the task to select an issue of relevance to contemporary Human Resource Managers in the workforce today.  Due to various factors (including retention and the looming difficulties of an aging workforce), we selected flexible working to be our focus.  Due to the depth of this area, we focused especially on teleworking and flexible hours.

After 10 weeks of preparation, with frequent group meetings, we were able to form a presentation that would both inform about what flexible working arrangements were available for employees, as well as the implications that this would have for Human Resource professionals:

We looked at the motivations behind adopting flexible work arrangements, and looking at the advantages and disadvantages of flexible working. Research indicates that the primary beneficiary of flexible work arrangements are businesses – whether through retaining good staff, or through reducing absenteeism and other difficulties.

We were able to go through the implications for Human Resource Management, should a flexible working arrangement be enacted in an office: the improvements that this would have on attracting and retaining employees (both being an employer of choice and on a location-independent talent pool), the possibility of near-retirees to continue working reduced hours; in addition to the need to alter managing strategy, define KPIs and expectations, and adapt appraisals to consider the results of an employee (rather than how much they appeared to work).

We were also able to show how the company was the primary beneficiary – reducing absenteeism, turnover, increasing company loyalty and giving companies a unique competitive advantage, and we able to provide a list of 8 areas that were able to be measured to show the benefits of a flexible working program. Lastly, we gave some practical ideas to implement a limited flexible working option at a given workplace.

Due to previous research and experience, my role in the group was one that moved between facilitating work being done and being a subject matter expert in teleworking.  Towards the end of the preparatory phase, my role shifted to be across the second half of the presentation – the implications of flexible working on Human Resource Management, and the ability of companies to assess the benefits of flexible working.

The 1 hour presentation was delivered at the Future of Human Resources conference jointly with myself and one other group member, allowing time for questions at the end of the presentation, and was delivered to an audience of postgraduate students of MGN506.  The presentation was received favourably by colleagues, and presently awaits assessment.

I thoroughly enjoyed working on this presentation – discovering the ability of businesses to make small changes and derive extraordinary dividends is something that I am still fascinated by.  The presentation itself stretched me – it had been a long time since I had to make a 20 minute presentation.  However, based on feedback from colleagues, the presentation was delivered professionally, successfully and in an engaging manner.

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