Flexibility and investment in people is the key to success

Truly flexible working policies are few and far between in business, yet it is hard to understand why when the result is a happier and more productive work force. Portal has long supported such an initiative and the results are clear for all to see.

Tracy McKay, Sales and Marketing Manager at Portal, has been with the company since it began fifteen years ago and has been a key figure in implementing such practises. She comments: "We set up our flexible working practise several years ago. John Corney, Managing Director of the company, understands we work to create a future for our families, so a working environment needs to support the home lives of our employees. A main cause of unrest in the workplace is an uneven work life home life balance. This is especially true if there are children involved, particularly for single parents. Our system enables parents to work one rota during term-time, which fits around the school day and another during the holidays. Where possible we try to establish a healthy compromise between the personal objectives of our staff and the commercial objectives of Portal. Neither do we penalise those who need flexible working by placing them in less skilled roles with lower salaries.  Skills retention is key to delivering quality and consistency of service."

Another Portal employee, Carla Perry continues:"At Portal I’m able to take my sons to and from school and work in between. My pattern of working is agreed at the beginning of each year, but can change, by agreement should my circumstances need additional flexibility.  I feel I have a more productive working life because of my flexible hours. I’m not thinking about childcare when I’m in the office or feeling guilty about not being at home. Flexible working hours haven’t held back my career progression either. I’m provided with training and development so really feel part of the team and I am confident in my ability to contribute to our success."

Tracy herself has benefited from flexible working hours while employed at Portal: "I started with the company at 23 years old, with no relative experience, just a keen interest in sales. I have received support, training and guidance, am now in a managerial position and a company share-holder. The opportunities here are great and I’m proud to say that, during my career, I’ve brought in over £6 million of business. One of the goals we set our sales staff is to join the 'million pound club'. For a sales person there’s no better achievement than knowing your work has led to an increase in turnover for the company. Now I also have young children, I too benefit from flexible working. I really appreciate the support provided for working parents.  Frankly, with twins, I couldn't manage work and family demands without it!"