Why do organizations offer flexibility? Business – Business- Business. Successful accomplishment of business strategy is the primary reason for building a flexible work culture.
The majority of our employees require flexibility at some point in their careers. Research increasingly points to flexibility as one of the most important career considerations of staff, emerging leaders and even our seasoned leaders. If we do not offer this flexibility in our organizations we will lose productivity in our top talent pool and we may lose this top talent completely to our competitors. In addition to flexibility as a requirement for top talent, consider the possibility that flexibility can actually improve your organizational results.
There are many definitions of flexibility. For the purposes of this discussion we are talking about any type of flexibility that allows team members to depart from the standard schedule of an early morning start time to an early evening departure, with all hours served as face time, either at a client/customer site or at the office location. There are many articles and books written regarding the types of flexible work arrangements available. This posting will not focus on the mechanics of the arrangements but the business case behind them.
Flexibility is not exclusively about part time work. Many types of flexibility involve no reduction in the amount of hours worked. In fact, many types of flexibility involve only one dimension of work structure, such as location, amount of travel or timeframe of the hours worked. There are many dimensions to work structure. Each of these dimensions can be considered when offering flexibility options to team members which in turn gives organizations many options.
The days of flexibility centered on “flex-time” programs and individual “accommodation” has past. Organizations that are making flexible work cultures a success are doing so by using flexibility and the building of a “flexible work culture” as a business strategy that supports business goals directly. Each organization will have a slightly different emphasis in their business case for flexibility. The business case should be directly tied to the strategic plan of the organization which will drive the prioritization of the flexibility business case components specific to each organization.
The list below includes many common business goals . Flexibility can assist in the accomplishment of these business goals. These business goals should be prioritized based on applicability to the organization and customized with actual organizational data when formulating the business case for specific organizational flexibility. The upcoming posts in this series will focus on each of these business goals and how flexibility can assist an organization accomplishing these goals.
Employee Attraction and Retention ; Improved Productivity; Improved Customer Service and Satisfaction; Effective Operational Management
Stay tuned for Part II of this series….
Mary L Bennett, mlbennettconsulting.com