At Grant Thornton, our purpose is to care for our people, clients and communities and support them to thrive. We have committed to a promise around each of those pillars, which forms the “GT Way”.
Our GT Way People Promise is a commitment to ensure every person at Grant Thornton:
We know that every one of our team members is part of a family, and a very large proportion of our team members are parents or caregivers. Managing the juggle between responsibilities at home and at work is one of the most challenging elements of the modern working paradigm, and we recognise that helping our people to support and care for their families will help them thrive in life and work.
Grant Thornton Australia introduced its “Flex Appeal” policy in 2016, which enabled every team member in any role within the firm to work flexibly. It was an industry leading approach to work at the time and we invested heavily in the technology and infrastructure to allow our people to work from anywhere with full access to our systems and the information they needed to be productive and effective. This positioned us well for the sudden shift to working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, and led us seamlessly into our hybrid working model (between the office, home and our clients’ workplaces).
We have found that the combination of our Flex Appeal policy and support for hybrid working has normalised the concept of working flexibly across our firm, and encouraged more team members to initiate conversations about how flexible working practices at Grant Thornton can help them to thrive at work and at home.
Our people utilise Flex Appeal to focus on their families, pursue sporting careers, indulge individual passions or fulfil philanthropic aspirations. During the COVID-19 pandemic we have accommodated multiple team members working from different states for extended periods to be closer to their families. We have enabled our people to choose to continue working from home beyond government mandated periods, as they have told us via repeated surveys how much they appreciate the flexibility to work different hours and in different locations. Enabling our team members to utilise flexibility empowers them to manage everything they have going on in their lives – whether it is supervising tradies at home, doing school and child care drop-offs and pick-ups, taking part in a community event or simply building in time for exercise.
We know that a diverse, engaged workforce and a positive, inclusive workplace culture enhances innovation and productivity, and is critical to our ability to achieve our strategic aspirations.
Being a family inclusive organisation is an important part of our commitment to enable our people to thrive in life and work. By empowering our parents and caregivers to manage their obligations, follow their passions and be there for life’s important moments – all while growing their careers, we can ensure we have access to the best talent.
Nicole & Dean Lawrence
Nicole Lawrence is a Senior Manager in Audit & Assurance, and Dean Lawrence is a Manager in Financial Advisory – both based in Grant Thornton’s Brisbane office. Nicole and Dean welcomed baby William into their family in February 2021. As first-time parents juggling successful careers, they share the care giving responsibilities at home.
Grant Thornton’s parental leave policy allows for equal access to 26 weeks of paid parental leave for the primary caregiver – so when William arrived, Nicole took 26 weeks of parental leave as the primary caregiver, and when she returned to work full time when William was 6 months old, Dean then switched in to the primary caregiver role.
Sharing the care giving for William in the first year of his life has been important for Nicole and Dean to equally share the “mental load” associated with being the primary care giver, and also for William to form equal connections with both parents.
“We love that Grant Thornton provides equal opportunities for parents to share the primary care giving role and a flexible working environment to facilitate good work-life integration,” said Nicole.
While adjusting to full time work as a new parent, Nicole has utilised flexibility to work from home, do half days in the office, or leave early some days and catch up in the evenings, which has made returning to work a lot easier to manage. When Dean returns to work there will be another period of adjustment for the family – but with flexible work and family friendly practices part of the “GT Way”, they are confident their family will continue to flourish.