Want to retain valued employees? Embrace flexibility

Employers frequently say it’s more expensive to train new workers than to retain experienced employees. The cost of losing people who have talent, knowledge about the company’s needs and the work ethic to meet those responsibilities is much greater than paying for a training program.

This is one of the quandaries that company executives face all the time. They wrestle with how to hold on to employees who are valuable to their operations when those workers are also expanding their families, looking for new career opportunities or trying to blend their personal obligations with work duties without sacrificing either.

Creating a new work culture

Managers who have learned to make flexibility work are doing so because they’ve embraced a flexible work environment for all their employees. By making it a matter of policy to allow job-sharing, work-at-home options and a range of schedules, more employees think twice before accepting another job. Working remotely some of the time, or full-time for those who need to relocate or assume child care for young children, has become an accepted part of many companies’ work culture.

Perhaps just as important, when people feel trusted to get their jobs done without being obligated to show a certain amount of “face time” in the office, they feel more invested in their companies. They’ll see that opportunities to grow in their current workplaces may be just as great as those elsewhere.

By making such options available, there are also some benefits that employers may not have expected. People who feel valued by a company may not be as inclined to take a sick day when they’re a little under the weather but have the comforts of home at hand. With an abundance of technology at their fingertips, they can be just as accessible through many ways to communicate with their co-workers, team members and bosses. Finally, their productivity stays the same or may increase because they’re able to develop a work schedule that they can coordinate more effectively with their personal lives.

Sure, hiring managers could just accept their losses and be satisfied with new, inexperienced hires. But would they find experienced professionals to replace those who have left? Chances are, other talented people would be seeking the same thing that departing employees are looking for. Many want more flexible staffing and scheduling so they don’t have to make difficult choices regarding family life and career advancement. Retaining current and future talent could be as easy as helping make their work and life fit.

Is a flexible work space a win-win for your company and employees? Leave a comment!


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