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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

As we emerge from the pandemic, the Great Resignation has been taking hold and impacting organizations around the globe.  Many employees have faced stress and burn-out over the past year, trying to balance personal, family and work obligations around the clock without necessary support structures in place.  Simultaneously, many employees gained more work-life control than they ever had during the pandemic, experiencing more regular dinners with family, being able to live in new places and have new adventures while working remotely, and spending more time with children and aging parents than ever before.  These seemingly dichotomous experiences, stress/burn-out and increased work-life autonomy, has led many workers to leave their jobs, which has been coined the Great Resignation.  However, every coin has two sides – resignations at one organization will lead to retention/recruiting benefits at another.  To have the upper hand, organizations need to focus now more than ever on talent development, diversity, inclusion and flexibility.  Here are the Alliance’s recommendations:

  1. Offer More Flexibility: Recent research studies during the pandemic have shown that employees have an increased desire for flexibility. A study in Harvard Business Review[1] sheds light on the desire for flexibility and autonomy – 59% indicated that flexibility is more important than salary/benefits and mentioned that they would not work for a company requiring them to be full-time onsite.  Organizations need to revamp workplace flexibility policies and programs in order to recruit and retain the best talent.

[1] Reisinger, Holger and Fetterer, Dane, “Forget Flexibility.  Your Employees Want Autonomy,” Harvard Business Review, 2021.

Members: continue reading this Action Step in the Member Resource Center

To read this entire Action Step become a member of the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance. To learn more contact Manar Morales.

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

 

As organizations revamp their workplace flexibility policies, they should include more employees in these policies.  Prior to the pandemic, many organizations offered vastly different flexibility policies to employees based on seniority/tenure, job responsibilities and/or employment status.  For example, law firms commonly provided much better workplace flexibility options to attorneys compared to professional staff prior to the pandemic.  However, during the pandemic, employers needed to provide remote work options to many employees who never had that option in the past.  Many of these employees greatly valued and thrived with this newfound flexibility, autonomy and trust. As organizations redesign their workplace flexibility policies, it is important to make these policies more widely available and equitable amongst a broad range of employees.  Some action steps to consider include:

 

  1. Audit Roles & Responsibilities: The first step when revamping your flexibility policy is to audit all roles to see who can participate. When doing so, it is important to only focus on the job function – i.e. can an employee perform their job function effectively while working flexibly?  Performance issues must be addressed individually so that opportunities for an entire group of employees in that function do not suffer.

 

  1. Think Creatively: Next, think creatively regarding your audit. Which employee roles were deemed unable to perform effectively while working flexibly?  Are there ways you can make structural/organizational changes so that flexibility can be offered?  For example, while some law firms voiced concerns regarding legal secretaries working remotely due to the fact that some tasks are more efficient in the office (i.e. compiling binders; mailing; printing), others have developed creative solutions to allow assistants to partake in remote work policies, including forming secretarial pools/teams. Changes in the way that individuals contribute to their teams may provide new opportunities for growth and professional development. They may also require additional expectation setting, team integration and training for managers and employees to make the most of new ways to collaborate.

 

Members: continue reading this Action Step in the Member Resource Center

To read this entire Action Step become a member of the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance. To learn more contact Manar Morales.