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John Handley, Director of Human Resources for Bright Horizons Family Solutions UK, talks about the importance of balancing work with family life, including why flexible working has to be the norm for us all.
What is Bright Start? Bright Start is an innovative approach to building our employment proposition around our colleagues’ lifestyles.
Time when jobs run from Monday to Friday and 9am to 6pm, are no longer the dominant way of working. People’s lives are complicated and we recognise that we have a significant role to play in enabling our colleagues to better balance their whole lives. We started Bright Start with the knowledge that the employment market has undergone a radical shift in recent years and we need to build our employment offer with this clearly in mind. We started with the question: ‘How can we ensure our employees have real choice about how they work with us?’ Some of the answers to this question are tough for some organisations to deal with.
Why is it innovative? Many companies still operate as if the old employment market place still exists, with the consequence that attracting and retaining talented people remains a constant uphill struggle. We are no different and we faced precisely the same challenge. Our shift has been in acknowledging this reality then building an employment proposition which embraces it.
Who will benefit the most from joining? At Bright Horizons we’re looking for passionate and committed childcare practitioners who are interested in sharing their expertise across a number of our nurseries, in exchange for flexibility in the hours they commit to. They could be students seeking to extend their experience working with children or practitioners who have children and are looking for a career that will fit around family life. They might also be passionate professionals who have left the sector altogether due to lack of organisational flexibility. All would be potential colleagues we would love to welcome to our team.
What are your current obstacles? The biggest challenge the sector faces is changing the way we think; being prepared to build our organisations around people’s real lives and not expecting people to build their lives around organisations. This is game changing stuff and it is incredibly challenging to deliver to. We have changed the way we think and Bright Start has truly brought this alive. We understand that it won’t be perfect at first and we will need to grow and evolve along the way. To do this we are working closely with teams from across Bright Horizons to listen, learn, adapt and act because we are committed to achieving our goal of attracting and retaining the very best talent.
What are the main benefits of joining Bright Start? A powerful sense of belonging. Bright Start employees are core members of our Bright Horizons’ family and will receive a full induction to our organisation, as well as ongoing training and development to help them progress their career. We believe this is a compelling proposition that our new Bright Start colleagues will embrace. What makes it special? We have changed the way we think; we understand the employment market the same way our colleagues do and we understand the complexity of our colleagues’ lives. With this in mind, we have built something special, something we will continue to evolve. We think differently and we are prepared to act. That’s what makes it special!
To find out more about Bright Horizons and our new flexible working programme - Bright Start email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website https://www.brighthorizons.co.uk/flexible-working