Insights (Blog) - Diversity & Flexibility Alliance

In Case You Missed It:
Our 2018 Flex Advisor Workshop

Take Our 10 Question Quiz to See if Your Organization Needs Some Help with Its Flexible Work Initiative

Last week on National Flex Day we held our highly-anticipated annual Flex Advisor Workshop for those responsible for the day-to-day administration of a flexible work program. The one-hour webinar provided the Alliance’s valuable guidance on successfully developing, implementing and managing a flexible work initiative. In case you missed it, individuals from Member Organizations can view the webinar here.

Maybe you’re not sure if your organization’s flex policy is successful or not. Take our 10 Question quiz, and if you can’t confidently answer yes to all ten questions, it might be time to have a strategy call with our team for some guidance.

Not a member, not a problem! We’re happy to have a 30-minute introductory call with you to get you started on the right foot. Just let us know.

 

  1. Have you explored specifically WHY your organization wants to establish flexible work options?
  2. Have you mapped out your organization’s unique business case for flexibility?
  3. Have you considered the role flexibility currently plays and will play in the near future to close the impending leadership gap?
  4. Have you identified champions or leaders who are clearly communicating the importance of flexibility within your organization?
  5. Have you studied your attrition statistics and other exit data?
  6. Do all of your employees feel 100% comfortable using the flex policy?
  7. Do you have a written flex policy and is it accessible to everyone?
  8. Are you regularly measuring the success of your program, tracking usage and monitoring patterns in who is working flexibly and who is not?
  9. Are you holding mid-level managers accountable for the success of the program?
  10. Are you celebrating flex successes and otherwise encouraging usage?

 

Need some advice or just want to tweak your flexibility policy, let us know. We’re here to help. Contact Manar Morales to set up a call today.

Spotlight on Flex – Mark Miller

Our Spotlight on Flex showcases professionals from member organizations who exemplify personal and professional success while working a flexible schedule. Their stories illustrate the long-term benefits that flexible schedules offer to both individuals and organizations.

For October 2018, we are pleased to share insights from Mark Miller, Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright (Houston, TX).

Diversity & Flexibility Alliance: How have you made flexibility a priority and a success through your schedule?

Mark Miller: I just celebrated my 31st year at the firm doing ERISA work. I’m based in the Houston office, but for the past six years I split part of the month with our New York office. In the fall of 2012, I was billing hour after hour, and while I was driving home one night, the song Behind Blue Eyes came on. I thought. “I just want to pause…” I didn’t want to change jobs or law firms; I just wanted a pause. I always envisioned myself with a one job, one firm legal career; I had great clients, I loved the firm, and I didn’t want to change that.

I wrote a memo to the managing partner explaining how grateful I was to do the work I was doing, how much I loved my job, appreciated my clients, and enjoyed working with my colleagues. But I also explained my intention to take a five month sabbatical (from April to September). I didn’t want to telecommute or go reduced hours; I wanted to see if I could really unplug from big law. I needed more than a vacation, and I didn’t want to quit. It would have been easy to change law firms, but it would have been the same cycle over and over. That’s what I was trying to break away from.

The managing partner asked about the precedence for my request. I told him there wasn’t one, but the firm had a maternity/paternity leave policy, and we supported people going to rehab. He took my memo into consideration, and a few days later my request was fully approved. Among the many things this experience taught me, it affirmed the fact that you need to ask for what you want. I was ready and willing to quit my job if I had to, and I’m thankful it didn’t come to that.

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Action Step –
Highlights From the 2018 Annual Conference

The Alliance’s Action Steps are designed to assist organizations with implementing practical strategies and policies related to diversity and flexibility.  Members can access full versions of all of the Alliance’s Action Steps in the Member Resource Center.

The following are highlights from the many words of wisdom shared by our dynamic and engaging 2018 Annual Conference panelists and speakers:

– Nicole Collier, Director of Policy & Public Affairs, Nestlé: We see this urgency to address diversity and inclusion from the investor community. This needs to be a company-wide discussion where you can talk about differences outside of the workplace.

– Vipula Gandhi, Managing Partner, Eastern US, Gallup Inc.: Experiences matter, and the war for talent is more. Employees are looking and leaving; the world of work is evolving; there are more women and millennials; and when, why, and how we work has changed. Millennials need purpose, want a coach, and care about learning and development versus just having a job.

– Michelle Gold, Partner & Governance Committee Member, Fried Frank (2018 Flex Impact Organization Honoree): We want our associates back for their careers. The key has been communication, and no one size fits all. A person’s job is to speak up, and everyone has to share information.

– Sarah Goldfrank, Senior Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Fannie Mae: We need to walk the walk and not just talk – that isn’t fair to employees. We have to ask what have we done to increase diversity within and beyond the company and hold ourselves accountable.

 

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