​Broadspectrum’s leaders: Peter Davies

This is an occasional series about Broadspectrum’s leaders. By sharing their stories, it’s an opportunity to celebrate our people, their successes and their diversity. In the words of inaugural interviewee, Karen O’Driscoll, “Our leaders have real lives too, and have learned through challenges, successes and mistakes that they can share with a wider audience.”

“Actions tend to speak louder than words,” says Peter Davies. He’s talking about companies offering both part-time employment and family-compatible working arrangements.

If a company wants to be an employer of choice, he strongly believes companies these days have to offer, and deliver, part-time and flexible work opportunities.

Peter, General Manager HR, Remuneration, is one such part-time employee at Broadspectrum. Being a male part-time general manager is still not common, but he is pleased to be part of the trend.

“Part-time work has been a real success for me,” he said. “Broadspectrum has a great approach, and I’ve been lucky to have a very supportive team, group of colleagues and my two managers, originally Grant Kerswell and now Sam Toppenberg.”

For reference, his team of six people includes one-part timer, and all the rest having flexible work arrangements. He is quick to stress, flexible doesn’t mean any less committed. In fact, he constantly reminds his team they shouldn’t spend excessive amounts of time on work, “which they can tend to do when there is so much on the agenda.”

Both Peter and his wife Natalie work part-time, allowing them to jointly manage the needs of their family of four. His 20 hours are worked mainly in the morning, while his wife works mid-week, meaning one parent is always available to their kids. “It’s an arrangement which works for our family because we get such a good work and family balance.”

Peter spent 25 years at Coca-Cola Amatil, working too many hours in senior roles, as happens within many large companies. He retired in 2015, but he was approached to join Broadspectrum when it was becoming part of the Ferrovial Group.

“I said I would only be able to join if I could work part-time,” he said.

His set work days can change, and he’ll work from home as required, particularly if he needs to talk to Ferrovial in Spain during their work day. “It’s up to me, my manager and my team to make part-time work successfully.

“It’s definitely give and take, and both parties have to be committed to make it work. There is never a 100 per cent guarantee of success, but instead the arrangement has to be continually monitored and assessed for effectiveness. But if it can work, it can be a productive relationship for everyone.”

When asked about challenges, Peter said there are always trade-offs, be it financial, career path wise, or working hours. And it will not suit every role or every individual.

For anyone reading this article who desires part-time, or other flexible arrangements, Peter suggests you first talk to any colleagues who have made part-time work successful. Then talk to your manager and, ideally, someone in HR.

“I will say again, all innovative arrangements take work and effort to plan and execute. And it is up to both the individual and the company to make it work. But where it does, the dividends can be very rewarding for everyone.”

Broadspectrum has a Flexibility Policy, reflecting our commitment to creating a flexible working environment that enables our business to succeed and grow while recognising the people in our organisation have unique skills, contributions and commitments to make both inside and outside our organisation.