Alan Swift

Director, Human Resources, Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service. Alan has been involved in HR for some 25 years, initially in the Scottish Prison Service and now with the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service. His background has always been within the Scottish civil service although he has had periods of secondments most notably with Scottish Business in the Community. Alan is a Board Member for Garvald Edinburgh a charity which provides support to young people and adults with learning needs. Alan is a Fellow of the CIPD.

How did you become interested in family friendly working?  

My initial interest in family friendly working arose out of listening to the problems which staff used to have in being able to cope with caring responsibilities at home and then having to do a full week of work. Often this caused staff to be below par taking sick absence or using up holidays just to keep going. A number or powerful personal stories made me very positive about looking at creating better ways of working.

The SCTS has some 1500 staff and many have challenges caring for family members, young children or parents. Working to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes for the organisation and staff has always been an important goal so that we can retain experienced staff and create a work life balance that means staff are in the right place to deliver high performance and go the extra mile when it is necessary.

As an organisation we have achieved good retention rates and good levels of engagement because we are seen as an employer which cares and wants to help staff have a good and purposeful life.

Work life balance means being productive and involved at work and having the energy and time to be able to have a fulfilling home life. It means having a manger who understands your responsibilities outside of work and who helps you meets your work objectives while allowing you the flexibility you need.

What three words best describe you?

Driven, curious and positive.