So you’ve spent the time organizing and building and finding support for
your flexibility and alternative work program. It has become an aspect of the
company culture that has attracted talent, managers are finding great work as a
result, and employees are holding themselves accountable to their work. Now it
is time to really leverage this workplace benefit to outside communities. Here
are some ideas.
1) Apply for best places to work and top family-friendly companies distinctions. According to Great Place to Work, 95 percent of Best Workplaces leaders state that being recognized for their workplace culture positively impacts the bottom line. The distinction generates recognition from national and local media, heightens reputation among prospective customers and job candidates, attracts top talent, lowers turnover rates and improves stock or company performance.
While every recognizing entity has its unique procedure, the steps are
frequently similar. Applying for a best place to work list will typically
include the following steps:
- Registration: Here, you will review deadlines and ensure your company’s eligibility. Upon meeting the requirements, the next step is starting application.
- Assessment: You may be asked to submit information about your organization, such as materials regarding programs and policies, company size, history, leadership, etc. In addition, your company’s participation in a survey may be requested.
- Evaluation: During this step, your company will be analyzed through survey data and judged based on outcomes.
- Feedback: Results are typically provided within a few weeks of the survey closing. Organizations can then use the results to assess the workplace and determine ways to improve
in the future.
- Results and awards: The successful organizations will be recognized as winners and awards may be given. Award ceremonies may be held, in addition to conferences and executive events.
In addition to Great Place to Work, here are some highly reputable lists to consider that focus on flexibility and family:
2) Promote your culture through job descriptions. This is a one-on-one opportunity to allow your company’s philosophy, culture and attitude to be relayed by the messages in your job description. Here’s an example from Monster on this: A client in the kitchen and bath industry posted a job opening for a designer, in which the company described themselves as “award-winning, high-end kitchens and baths while not taking ourselves too seriously.” Their ideal candidate was described as “You know how to design kitchens and baths and are darn good at it. You can sell what you design. You like people and they like you. You are a problem solver and you can prove it. You care about where you work and the people you work with.”
This makes for the perfect job description for this company, as it clearly describes the requirements of the candidate, but it does it in a tone that captures the company’s way of approaching business. By incorporating the appropriate tone that reflects your company’s culture in your positions, this will attract people who will do well in this work environment.
3) Build a reputation as an employer of choice. Becoming known as an “employer of choice” has many advantages. Within your business communities, it can open new doors in terms of recruiting, business development, marketing partnerships, resources, etc. Book speaking engagements on the topic of the benefits of positive work cultures. Use social media platforms to disseminate your ideas and successes through a content marketing strategy. Write blog posts for your company blog that focus on best practices in terms of human capital strategies.
Paul Alofs writes in his book, Passion Capital: The World’s Most Valuable Asset,“If your culture is dependent on this quarter’s earnings or this month’s sales targets, then it is handicapped by short-term thinking. Passion capitalists take the long view. We tend to overestimate what we can do in a year, but underestimate what we can do in five years. The culture needs to look ahead, not just in months but in years and even decades.”
The sustainable success of an alternative work program is centered on leadership’s buy-in that this is a business strategy as much as it is an HR initiative. How have you promoted your flexibility programs?
By Allison O’Kelly, founder/CEO of Mom Corps, @AllisonOKelly