We are always on the lookout for enlightened employers – and we have always been in awe of the management team of ENCE Marketing Group (which also runs Affluence PR Pte Ltd). Since 2013, they have hired a total of 28 flexi-work employees in various roles. Of these 28 employees, 12 of them are mothers. (How cool is that!). Here, in this interview, Angela Sim, the marketing director & founder of the company shares more about the reason why Flexible Work Arrangements can work for her team. (http://encemarketing.com/)
To employ qualified staff. As an SME, there is a challenge employing high level staff on a full time basis. We figured that if we were going to pay for a full time staff able to perform at 50% of the quality of work we expect, we might as well pay a part time staff the same amount of salary and get 100% work quality. We also have a more stable work force, because the flexi staff have a better work life balance, and are happy they can cope with the work given to them.
How has FWA Employees help your business processes? Changing in processes to be more specific in job roles and deliverables (piece meal work definition). Some staff are specifically employed to set up new systems and processes and have done so as we are tapping on their past experience and capabilities in setting up systems.
As an employer, what was most challenging in the management of FWA?
Sussing out the suitability of the staff. We have learnt to interview and employ only the staff who are able to fit the bill for the work, in terms of their family commitments, their life stage, and their past experience and ability to work within an SME culture.
Clients get better quality of work at reasonable cost. Flexi work mums are paid fairly for the amount of work they do and the time they spend. More importantly, it keeps them engaged and involved in the business world so that they can stay relevant/enhance their skills. We see this too as my part in helping society, and fulfilling a social need for Singapore.
As a FWA Employer, how has the response been from your clients/ external stakeholders?
Yes they are, as long as they are still able to have a full time servicing person as and when they require work to be done. However, as I am big on planning, I don’t foresee and don’t expect staff to work on an urgent basis, and clients too, will be educated to not request for last minute work. I believe that if something is urgent, it means it wasn’t important in the first place. This has helped us to deal with “crises” by understanding the objectives and the needs of the urgency and to determine if it is worth killing ourselves over.
What advice would you give to other employers who are considering hiring FWA employees?
FWA has to work both ways and it should be a strategic decision for the company. Because it is easier to fall back on having a full time workforce, as business owners, we should not be “lazy” and allow this dependency to stop us from looking at new and better ways to do our business. One also has to be specific in recruitment and take the time to carve out relevant work scopes for the staff, or employing a flexi work force will not work. But I find that is has to do with every aspect of recruitment even if it is for a full time staff – choose the right staff for the right work, at the right time. It has taken us a lot of trial and error (and cost) to put in place what we have with the flexi workforce now. Generally it appears to be good for the business and business is stable. Working with a flexi work force also means that you consistently need to reevaluate processes and synergies. As some of our staff are working from home, we do lose a lot of informal communication that will elevate our synergy with the clients and internal processes. But, as with every strategy there are pros and cons. That is why this initiative has to be a strategic decision that will need to be fully supported by the management and staff.
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE FLEXI-WORK TEAM THAT THIS EMPLOYER HAS HIRED:
Stephanie’s Story can be found HERE
Kelly’s Story is HERE