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Lion New Zealand – Flexing the key to balance

Case Study

New Zealand Diversity Awards, 2017
Diversity Awards Category

Lion New Zealand – Flexing the key to balance

The cultural challenge

Lion’s internal research showed that almost 40 per cent of its workforce would require flexible work options in forthcoming years, and while the option to work flexibly had always been available, it was not championed cohesively across the company, and was seen as intended mainly for parents.

Strategies for success
  • Lion relaunched its flexibility policy as LionFlex, offering four categories for flexibility covering the locations employees could work from, different work schedules, the ability to purchase extra leave or take unpaid leave, and the ability to job-share or have part-time roles.
  • The company took the approach of addressing every flexible working request with a yes – unless there was a significant business reason to say no.
  • A Proud to Flex initiative was launched to challenge the stereotype of flexible working arrangements being only for those with family commitments.
  • A practical toolkit was developed to change the default “meeting culture”.
  • Significant resources are being invested to ensure the company’s technology is compatible with remote working
Results and benefits
  • Since launching LionFlex, Lion has risen to be the number one talent brand in New Zealand on LinkedIn when measured against a peer set that includes Air New Zealand, Fonterra and Coca-Cola Amatil.
  • Team members who work fulltime and access LionFlex have higher levels of engagement (93%) than those who do not (89%), a better sense of wellbeing (88% versus 84%), and a more favourable perception of their leader’s leadership (87% versus 82%).
  • In 2016, 42 per cent of Lion’s New Zealand staff were accessing LionFlex.
  • More about Lion

    Lion, which can trace its roots in New Zealand back to 1840, is the country’s largest alcohol beverage company, focusing on production, marketing, sales and distribution of beer, wine, spirits, cider and ready-to-drink products, as well as a range of non-alcohol beverages. It has about 1000 NZ-based staff.

“LionFlex presented an opportunity for us to reiterate how we measure success – by achievement against outcomes, not by hours spent at a desk.”

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