Creating a culture that promotes work flexibility is a great way to attract (and retain) great people. Time and time again, research supports this notion:
- WorldatWork’s 2013 Survey on Workplace Flexibility shows that organizations describing themselves as having a “flexibility culture” say that it positively impacts employee engagement (85%), motivation (84%) and satisfaction (92%).
- Forbes.com cites several studies linking optimal workplace flexibility to recruiting and hiring success – including a broader talent pool, higher morale, greater productivity and more committed employees.
Top candidates want challenging, rewarding work that meets their need for work-life satisfaction.
Pretty straightforward, right?
What’s not as clear to employers is how to meet that need – and ultimately attract better talent.
Experience has shown us that building a culture of flexibility is essential to recruiting and retaining high performers. Today, Corps Team explains how:
Offer greater flexibility in work time and place. The Families and Work Institute defines four types of “flex time” arrangements which may reduce commute times, improve communications for dispersed work teams and reduce work-life conflicts for employees:
- Traditional flex time – permanently shifting start and end times.
- Daily flex time – changing start and end times for one or more days, on short notice.
- Compressed workweeks – redistributing weekly work hours into fewer days, such as a 4-day / 10-hour workweek.
- Flex place – working part of the time off-site (i.e., telecommuting).
Consider programs that allow individuals to control their starting/stopping times or select the best work shifts for them. Viable options will vary based on your industry, services/products and customers. Ideally, you should aim to balance the needs of your business with your employees’ need for flexibility.
Create processes for preventing overwork. Achieving an optimal work-life mix is a huge challenge for today’s employees, and even more so for high performers. Build a system of “checks and balances” into your culture and work processes to guard against overwork – and alleviate it when it occurs:
- Survey employees regularly about their workload. Is it manageable? Do they have the resources and support to achieve their key objectives? How could you improve processes or communication to reduce unnecessary work?
- Provide additional support when employees need it. Keep an eye on current and future business to anticipate and eliminate overwork. Corps Team provides flexible, professional support services for projects and short-term needs.
- Encourage employees to take frequent breaks, as well as their earned vacation time.
- Consider a “results only” work environment, in which you compensate employees based on the results they produce – not the hours they work.
- While not all of these flexibility options will be right for your business, implementing just a few will help you create a culture that welcomes top talent – and stacks the recruiting deck in your favor.
- Start small. You can’t (and shouldn’t try to) re-vamp your corporate culture overnight. Focus your efforts on one or two change initiatives to start.
- Actively market your flexibility offerings on your website, job postings, social media accounts and anywhere else you connect with talent. Make it clear to job seekers that your company culture welcomes and supports high performers seeking work-life satisfaction.
Corps Team provides talented contract professionals and executives who can support your core employees’ need for flexibility. Contact your local Corps Team office to learn more.