Charity’s Four-Day Week Proving a Success

Charity’s Four-Day Week Proving a Success

member article

A local charity’s four-day-a-week pilot is proving a huge success as employee retention increases and sick leave decreases.

Spear, led by CEO Alison Dunn, Citizens Advice Gateshead, is the first in the national Citizens Advice Network to lead the way with the new working model.

The charity launched the groundbreaking pilot to help both their clients with extended hours and services, and their employees by adopting an innovative way of working that is already showing to have a positive impact on their well-being and performance.

Paul Oliver, Corporate Services Director at Citizens Advice Gateshead, conducted a review of the pilot to date and said:

“Now halfway through the trial, some positive trends are emerging across the charity in terms of customer retention, employee well-being and productivity gains.

“The organization’s sick leave is currently 10% lower than it was in the summer before we switched to this way of working, which is even better considering winter sick leave typically spikes with the onset of viruses and flu. Our employee retention has increased by 8% from 72% to 80% since before the trial, bucking the trend recently demonstrated by other similar organizations.

“This is all very encouraging given that the four-day workweek also has other positive impacts on society and communities, including reducing environmental impact, closing gender inequality and potentially increasing life expectancy. It feels like it really makes a difference in so many crucial ways.”

Citizens Advice Gateshead is one of just 70 UK-based organizations to take part in the national 4-day-week study, where they receive support, advice and access to mentoring from companies that have already successfully completed the study. After initiating the study in July, the charity initially planned a 6-month study, but due to the positive effects observed so far, the study was extended to March. Alison said:

“We will use this information from our mid-term survey to provide information on the next stage in the implementation of company-wide efficiencies and to formulate a proposal for long-term development. This will, over time, allow the charity to better serve customers’ needs outside of the usual 9am to 5pm hours, which is one of the main reasons for the pilot.

“In addition, our organizational KPIs are working well as we are meeting or exceeding our customer numbers with no negative impact on the overall service. If we take a closer look at our customer-centric teams, there are some really encouraging stories of improved efficiencies leading to stronger customer retention and more engaged and productive employees.

“We are seeing a decrease in stress and burnout in the workplace; and an increase in job satisfaction while improving the physical and mental health of employees – this can only be positive, which should be viewed over the long term.”

Excitingly, these results are already enabling the leadership team to explore a number of opportunities to introduce after-hours services on weekends in partnership with other local organizations. This will allow Citizens Advice Gateshead to continue the narrative of using the 4-day week as leverage to break out of the 9-5 work model and continue to expand services.

This was posted by Anna Toms in the Member News section of Bdaily.

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