Imagine asking 10 of your employees to name the flexibility available at your company. What answers would they give? Would their answers be consistent? Would they know what flexibility they could access? Would they even know if a flexibility policy existed?
Flexibility can mean different things to different people, and senior leaders and their employees often have conflicting takes on what flexibility is available. Low uptake of flexibility isn’t the only consequence of this disconnect. When companies lack a strong flexibility point of view, they often experience lower net promoter scores, higher attrition rates, and difficulty making new hires.
In order to create a strong flex POV, companies must take a few actions. First, it's important to develop a common vocabulary of flexibility to get everyone speaking the same langauge. Next, you should use data to close your flexibility gaps. And last, you'll need to broadly communicate your flex policies throughout your entire organization and beyond to build a culture of flexibility from within.
When it comes to a common vocabulary, consider our six flexibility types for a moment. These time- and location-based modifications to the workday are designed to maximize employee productivity and to improve overall work-life compatibility. While implementing a similar framework at your company is a great way to start cementing your flex point of view, it's not enough on its own...
In order to build a true flex POV, you have to close any flexibility gaps and pockets of flex inequity that exist within your employee population. According to our research, 96 percent of employees in the U.S. workforce need some form of flexibility, yet only 42 percent have access to the type of flexibility they need, and only 19 percent have access to a range of flexible options. And those gaps are even bigger across certain demographic faultlines, like race and gender. By understanding the flex needs of your employees and the consequences of not addressing those needs, you can identify where your biggest gaps exist and begin working to close them. (Don't worry, we can help with this.)
And then any new or existing flexibility policies must be clearly defined, broadly communicated, and advertised across all relevant promotional materials, including—and especially—job listings. That way, all employees know from the get-go where you stand on flexibility. Consider how a flex POV impacts talent acquisition as well. If a candidate asks about your flexibility policies during an interview and you say “Let me check with HR and get back to you,” you’ve already lost that person. And, as we've discussed here before, flexibility is becoming more and more popular with each successive generation.
Need help developing your company's flex POV? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to speak with a Flexpert, or fill out the form below to request a formal Werk demo.