We've all heard the statistics on flexibility. We know that employees want and need flexibility with the demands on their personal lives and the demands at work. Let's face it, with the Great Resignation, the ones that are staying are having to work longer and harder because we struggle to backfill the people that have left.
According to a recent article published by CNBC, the number one reason that people leave is a toxic work environment and it's 10 TIMES more important than pay. So, if you're trying to retain talent, throwing money at them won't work. You need to look inwardly at your organizational culture to retain employees. But, what about recruiting employees?
Another article released by CNBC on the same date states that, "Flexible work arrangements will be the norm, not the exception." Candidates are looking for flexible work arrangements to manage life. And, here's the tricky thing, our policies are so out dated, they don't allow for these types of things and flexibility is not a one size fits all approach. It's time to rethink your policies and have a flexibility plan that's individualized based upon individual needs.
I was in a networking meeting last week and one of the individuals on the call recently accepted a new position. He said that during the negotiation, he asked for Wednesdays off (in addition to the normal weekends off schedule). So, he'd be working Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. He stated that this schedule would afford him the flexibility to manage his life and have the mental break he needed. This was an executive level position, which has many demands and pressures, but guess what? The company agreed!
So, having a flexible work program can help you recruit, but can also be a key component to your wellness strategy. From my own experience, I left an executive level role because I couldn't balance "life" and I didn't have the flexibility to meet the needs of my career and my children. Something had to give because I became burnt out and my health and family were suffering. We're seeing this trend more and more with The Great Resignation.
How do you implement a flexible work schedule? Start with talking with your employees about what works for them and what their needs are. Parents might need to work during school hours, log off at 3:00 to focus on the children and then start again after the children are asleep. Some may need that mental break in the middle of the week to take care of themselves. Some might just want the flexibility to work remotely to be closer to family. Like all wellness strategies, it's an individual approach and your policies will need to adopt.
I have a close friend who is the CPO of a company in Concord, New Hampshire and they've adopted a "Do what works for you" policy on working remotely or coming into the office. This allows the employees to do what they need to do to balance life and still get their jobs done. Performance can still be evaluated through results and employees will stay more committed to an organization that flexes to support them.
What are you currently doing to support your employees' wellness and life balance?
Schedule some time with me to learn more about how we can build out a wellness strategy in your organization that includes flexibility.