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Implementing Global Flexibility. Danielle Hartmann BC Center for Work & Family Cindy Martinangelo Merck & Co. Ann Andreosatos Procter & Gamble. CWF Mission.

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implementing global flexibility
Implementing Global Flexibility

Danielle HartmannBC Center for Work & Family

Cindy Martinangelo Merck & Co.

Ann Andreosatos Procter & Gamble

cwf mission
CWF Mission
  • Boston College Center for Work & Family is committed to enhancing the success of organizations and the quality of life of today's workforce by providing leadership for the integration of work and life, an essential for individual, organizational & community success
  • Key differentiators:
    • Bridge research & practice
    • Employ a global perspective
    • Recognize changes in work-life needs

through the career continuum

BP plc.


Deere & Co.

Dow Chemical Company


Kraft Foods

Merck & Co

Proctor & Gamble

Prudential Financial

  • Cadbury
  • Dell Computers
  • FM Global
  • IBM
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Novartis Pharmaceuticals
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • State Street Corporation
what we have learned
What we have learned
  • Many core concepts of leadership & managing the workforce translate well across cultures
  • However, we need better understanding of differences
    • Legal and Cultural Environment: France
    • Fair Work Act 2009: Australia
    • Emerging Markets: Brazil
    • Talent and Flexibility: China
  • Coordination of strategies across corporation is critical
universal work life issues
Universal Work-life Issues
  • We have found that there are 4 universal work-life issues around the globe. Resolving those issues takes creativity and sensitivity to local culture.
  • Dependent Care
  • Demand for Flexibility
  • Work-load/Stress
  • Health & Well-Being
legal and cultural environment france
Legal and Cultural Environment: France
  • Employers have less legitimacy than the State in the work-life arena
  • Employees seek to protect their personal life; hold a more distrustful view of employers and their vested interests
  • Structure and focus of unions sometimes conflict with work-life ideals.
  • Work-life is seen as a social issue, not an economic one that requires a “business case”
  • HR managers must comply with complex legal requirements

Ollier-Malaterre, Ariane(2009) 'Organizational work-life initiatives: context matters', Community, Work & Family,12:2,159 — 178.

fair work act 2009 australia
Fair Work Act 2009: Australia
  • maximum weekly hours of work
  • the right to request flexible working arrangements
  • parental leave and related entitlements
  • annual leave
  • personal/carer's leave and compassionate leave
  • community service leave
  • long service leave
  • public holidays
  • notice of termination and redundancy pay
  • provision of a Fair Work Information Statement
what should employers do to ensure compliance with r2r
What should employers do to ensure compliance with r2r?
  • Prudent employers would educate their managers about the factors to be taken into account when determining such a request.
  • A checklist of factors would include:

• whether a work/family policy exists within the organisation• whether a similar request has been granted elsewhere in the business• the nature of the role and key performance indicators• options for change (eg including modifications to the request)• the impact of the change on the team/business unit• the cost of the change vs the cost of not making the requested change (eg turnover).

Aequus Partners:

work life trends in brazil
Work-Life Trends in Brazil
  • Still many Brazilians work in the informal employment sector
  • Continued inequity between genders
  • Access to education is competitive
  • Challenges in approving flexible work arrangements
  • Demand for daycare exceeds availability
  • Sharon Lobel, Work-Life in Brazil Executive Briefing:
talent and flexibility china
Talent and Flexibility: China
  • Cultural norms and workforce expectations make flexibility difficult to implement, yet demand for flexibility is increasing.
  • Demand for top talent and global work environment make flexibility a business necessity
  • Prevalent and successful programs include:
    • Informal flexibility
    • Core hours, flexible starting and ending times
    • Working from home and telework
    • No meeting Fridays

Russell, Graeme, Work and Life in China, BC CWF Report, January 2008


Global Flexible Work ArrangementsWorking Mother Media

October 29, 2009

Cindy Martinangelo

Director, Global Work Environment

  • Global Constituency Group Model
  • Business Case for Flexibility
  • Results of Employee Survey
  • Guiding Principles
  • Project Timeline
  • Global Implementation
  • Challenges to be considered
  • Key Learnings
10 global constituency groups gcg representing all merck
















10 Global Constituency Groups (GCG) representing all Merck
  • Women’s GCG initially made recommendation to Executive Committee to develop a global flexible work policy in Dec. 2007
business case for flexibility results of merck fwa survey
Business Case for Flexibility & Results of Merck FWA Survey
  • Reduced turnover
  • Better productivity in part-time Sales Division
  • Increased commitment
  • Improved productivity
  • Focus Groups and interviews worldwide: a common concern a-mong Merck employees
  • Flexibility Survey: a common diagnostic of benefits among employees and supervisors
  • Productivity and Innovation (Center for Work and Family)
  • Talent Attraction (Alliance for Work-Life Progress)
  • Commitment and Health (Halpern)
  • Overview of Survey (conducted March 2008)
  • Global participation (stratified random sample, 61% response rate, more than 7000 employees globally)
  • Designed to access satisfaction with and interest in flexible work options. Addressed perceived barriers and impact to productivity & careers.


Employee input

Research on Benefits

merck s global guiding principles
Merck’s Global Guiding Principles

Our competitive environment requires that business objectives be met

Flexibility is good for our business and good for our people.

Equitable consideration is central to the Merck Flexible Work Arrangements


Flexible work arrangements are not an entitlement.

Results are what count, not "face time."

The reason for a flexible work arrangement request is not part of the process.

Flexibility helps the company be a better place to work and become Employer of Choice.

Flexibility is a two-way street

Flexibility does not limit career opportunities or advancement.

These principles provided guidance for the formation of our global policy.

challenging issues and solutions
Challenging Issues and Solutions
  • Workload of current environment doesn’t allow for FWA

✦Research clearly indicates that FWA enhances engagement, productivity, and creativity and reduces turnover

✦Our expectation is that the majority of employees are looking for occasional flexibility, flex time or telework, not reduced hours.

  • Entitlement/ Accommodation mentality

✦ Decisions are based on business need. Arrangements can be changed/terminated as the business needs change

  • Employees need to be available to others

✦ Decisions are based on business needs. Technology has made staying connected much more practical in a remote environment.

  • Nature of the job is not conducive to a FWA

✦ Not all jobs may support FWA. Decisions are based on business needs.

  • Managing in a flexible work environment is difficult

✦ Managers’ skills and comfort level will vary. Requires training, coaching and support.

key learnings
Key Learnings
  • Work –life integration is defined by the individual. Not one –size fits all
  • Communication – Messages should be customized (at the country level and at the functional level) (Field, plant, office).
  • Culture is set at the country level, not at the region.
  • Don’t underestimate the value of reason - neutral
  • Ensure that employees understand website records/requests are confidential. Accessible only by administrators and direct managers
  • Highlight employees who are dedicated to their career and demonstrate effective use of FWA
  • Use FWA as a way to be clear-headed and productive in the workplace, not to burn out.
  • Provide people managers with guidance on how to manage by objectives (not about being seen, but results that are being delivered)
  • Link FWA to employee engagement in a highly stressed environment – Provide a manager toolkit for engagement.


Drivers of Work-Life Effectiveness







Survey Question

  • Across the globe……
        • We ask employees if they have enough flexibility to manage their work and personal lives

CEEMEA REGION– Strategy for

Re-launch of Flexibility

  • The strategy is regional
    • . . . the action is local.
  • The challenge is complexity and scope
  • . . . the solution is clear, energetic central project ownership and management

Resolve the significant issues through smart choices and a good strategic framework

      • Availability
      • Establish a “minimum floor” of policies that all countries should have in place
      • Awareness
      • Communication strategies were owned by each local entity starting with engaging senior managers

Resolve the significant issues through smart choices and a good strategic framework

      • Utilization
      • objectives and strategies for tracking and understanding utilization
      • Supportive Culture
      • Expect availability, awareness, utilization and behaviors around flexibility to be fully integrated

Power Lies in Measurement

    • Favorable survey responses increased by 12 points versus from 2008 results
    • 2,500+ employees (57% of survey respondents) report using some form of FWA.
      • Flexible Hours (flexible start and start time)
      • Work from Home (occasional use or set schedule)
      • Personal Leave of Absence
      • Less Than Full Time

Build a solid infrastructure and make it easy to accelerate flexibility

  • The journey will continue:
    • Partner with organization leaders to broadly deploy
    • Set expectations with line leaders and managers
    • Build greater education for employees
    • Internalize and role model behaviors that address needs, inspire and instill these new attitudes

Policies may be adapted to meet labor and union requirements, and will be found in the country’s policy book… or FlexPaths. Where differences exist between regional guidelines and local policies, local policies are to be followed.”….

Latin America


Thank you—We’d be happy to answer any questions

Danielle Hartmann, BC Center for Work & Family

Cindy Martinangelo, Merck & Co.

Ann Andreosatos, Procter & Gamble