Werk had the pleasure of co-sponsoring LEAP HR: Life Sciences 2018 in Boston earlier this month—during which our co-founder and co-CEO Anna Auerbach delivered a presentation on using data to power adaptive workdays—but we noticed one common refrain throughout the conference. A number of companies we spoke to reported that job candidates have rejected their offers citing the need for more flexibility.

This doesn’t come as a surprise to us: Recent studies have shown flexibility is a top consideration in job hunts these days, especially among millennial and Generation Z job-seekers.

Our research supports the idea that flexibility can be leveraged to attract the best talent. In other words, companies can market their structured flexibility as part of their employer brand, instead of waiting to communicate these policies after employees have already joined the organization. (Check out that research paper to see the three flexibility types in particular that can give companies room to lead.)

The reasons these employees might demand flexibility are boundless. Perhaps they need Remote because they have chronic conditions that are best managed at home. They might need DeskPlus (location variety) because they face a long commute to the office. Maybe they need TimeShift to capitalize on their dayparts of peak productivity. Perhaps they need TravelLite to keep them healthy and able to work. They might need PartTime to reduce their hours without reducing their ambitions. Or maybe they need MicroAgility to help them achieve max focus even with life’s little interruptions.

As you might be realizing, flexibility benefits employers just as much as it does employees, especially because it boosts employee productivity. In a recent study, employees with location variety had a performance improvement of 13 percent and had 50 percent fewer resignations.

As that drop of employee attrition attests, flexibility is instrumental in retaining talent, not just attracting talent. We note in our research paper that employees with access to flexibility had employee net promoter scores (eNPS) 48 points higher than those without. Employees with access to flexibility are also 16 percent more likely to feel their ideas are valued, 20 percent more likely to believe their work environment fosters diverse points of view, 20 percent more likely to feel cared about and treated well by their employer, and 26 percent more likely to feel their company is committed to improving gender diversity.

On the flip side, employees without flexibility are twice as likely to report being dissatisfied at work, and 1 in 2 employees say they would leave their job to find a more flexible alternative.

Have you experienced this at your organization? Are you losing top talent due to lack of flexibility? Or maybe you already have flexibility but you’re struggling to harness its value? No matter where you are on your flexibility journey, the first step is to assess your employees’ needs for vs. their access to flexibility. Request a FlexMatch demo to get started.