Flexible Working Arrangements A solution to the rising levels of staff turnover

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Sheanon, Geraldine
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BA (Hons) in Human Resource Management
Dublin Business School
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The principle objective of this dissertation is to analyse the potential of flexible working arrangements with regard to attracting and retaining high calibre employees in the present tight labour market. The objectives of the research aims to examine the potential benefits (in relation to recruitment and retention of staff) of flexible working arrangements at an individual and organisational level, with particular reference to the Finanacial Services Sector. Due to the sensitive nature of the information contained in the case study, the name of the financial organisation has been changed. The Irish economy has experienced unprecedented growth during the last decade, which of course is beneficial to the country. It has created a new challenge for employers in the area of recruitment and staff retention. The Premier Building Society has experienced record levels of staff turnover in the last four years ranging from 3% in 1997 to 45% in 2000. At present the Society is in the process of expanding its suite of flexible work options, to include Term-time working, Non-summer working and Home-working in an attempt to reverse this trend. A detailed analysis of the Home-working project is provided in this study. This study looks at the business rationale for the introduction of flexible working arrangements and the theoretical debate surrounding them. It also contains primary research on the opinions of existing Premier employees regarding the attractiveness of flexible work arrangements. Overall, the study concludes that flexible working arrangements could, if carefully selected and clearly communicated to staff, contribute to a reduction in the level of staff turnover. However, I feel that this strategy should be used in conjunction with other reward management options to develop a unique benefits package which would give the Premier a competitive edge in the recruitment and retention sphere.