· Features

How to do a senior HR role part-time

Timewise director Karen Mattison gives her tips on making a senior HR role successful on a flexible basis

Start as you mean to go on

Be clear about flexibility on both sides – yours and your employer’s. Remember, the opposite of flexible working is not full-time working but rigidity. It suits some roles, but not others.

Don’t be apologetic about the pattern you work

Note your days off clearly on your out of office messages, leave short explanatory voicemails and make sure colleagues are well briefed. Have a procedure for urgent queries, for example ‘Text me if you urgently think I should check an email’.

Be a trailblazer

Don’t be afraid to be the champion for flexibility and encourage conversations about it internally. Flexibility works best when there is true collaboration between employer and employee, and as an HRD, you must represent this.

Know your metrics

Annually monitor the number of people internally who work flexibly and encourage others to see this as a positive benchmark. Note any clear business benefits, too. Have you seen better retention levels? Are you able to make more cost effective hires? Are staff satisfaction levels going up? Don’t keep such results private. We are increasingly noticing that people like to do business with organisations that have a flexible and transparent approach.

Share and share alike

Don’t keep your flexible working to yourself. Find others in the industry who do the same, then network and collaborate. Find out what the latest tools and news in the area are and share your valuable knowledge. Timewise runs a series of corporate and public sector partnerships, designed to facilitate exactly this. See Timewise.co.uk.

Further reading

How two HRDs use part-time working to their advantage