Employee Engagement

Firstsource Solutions, a leading business process outsourcer that employs over 4,500 people in the UK and Ireland, has adopted a number of family-friendly policies to enable its employees to juggle a work-life balance more effectively, particularly during the long summer months.

Firstsource has six contact centres in the UK and two in the Irish republic. Nurturing and encouraging home grown talent is a priority for the team at Firstsource and the new Flexible Working and Term Time options are proving popular with staff at all levels.

Firstsource’s centres operate seven days a week between 8 am-11 pm, with variable peak times according to client requirements, so a complex shift system is required to resource the required working hours. Flexible working is simply a change to an employee’s shift pattern to suit their home needs and it creates a balance between family and work commitments. Hours are agreed between Firstsource and the employee and the option is open to both full-time and part-time staff.

“With Firstsource’s flexible working option an employee will still work a set amount of hours each week but the shifts can be adjusted to suit the individual’s lifestyle. Many of our roles require shifts over a four or five day period. For example, an employee may work a 35 hour week contract and the shift patterns can vary from Sunday to Thursday. The flexible working scheme gives our employees time with their families every weekend.

“From a business perspective it allows us to forecast and plan staffing levels over the summer months well in advance as well as retain talented staff. This initiative has been particularly successful for us and it also encourages higher rates of staff attendance,” said Grainne O’Kane HR Manager from Firstsource.

The other flexible option, which has been recently introduced in Firstsource contact centres, is ‘Term Time’. This initiative allows parents who have children of school age to take extended time off work during the holidays. Term time is unpaid leave but can be combined with paid leave to extend their options.

“The idea behind the Term Time option is to accommodate and structure employee holidays to create a fair work-life balance. Feedback, even at this early stage has been extremely positive,” said Grainne O’Kane.

Creating a healthy work-life balance is a priority for parents. Sylvia Gilmour, a team leader from Firstsource in Londonderry has found that the new flexible work options have made a huge difference and created quality family time.

She said: “Term Time in particular has been a great help for my family. Holidays are always a challenge with childcare but this new option means I can spend quality time with the kids when they are off school.”

Grainne O’Kane added: “Employees are entitled to make one request per year to negotiate working hours. This isn’t always possible for some employers, but at Firstsource we have found many benefits from being flexible with staff and we try to help our staff with children to work around their childcare commitments. It also encourages employees to stay with Firstsource and gives us a wider selection of experienced staff to work with.”

Maintaining a positive work-life balance for staff is key to creating a productive and results driven work environment. Firstsource continually supports employees’ wellbeing through new schemes and initiatives, which makes it an excellent career choice for the whole family.


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