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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

 

The pandemic has changed the perception of flexibility from “a nice to have” to a business imperative. Prior to March 2020, some organizational leaders did not buy into workplace flexibility. Fast forward to 2021 and the conversations around flex are very different. Rather than asking why we need flex, more leaders are now focusing on how we can make flex as effective as possible. Organizations across all industries must think strategically about workplace flexibility in order to reap recruiting, retention, and business productivity benefits. To help you reboot your workplace flexibility policy, the Alliance has the following recommendations:

  1. Reflect, Reassess & Reimagine. We urge all organizations to look back and carefully reflect on the past year. How has your mission, values, products/services and/or business operations changed? In what ways can flexibility help with these changes? What were the positive impacts of flexibility in terms of productivity, satisfaction/engagement and recruiting/retention? We recommend that organizations create a task force of diverse leaders on the future of work, and collect data on employee productivity/satisfaction now to understand what worked and what didn’t. This will help revamp your flex policy post-pandemic, implement it effectively and create necessary infrastructure support. See our action step, Paving the Way for Flexible Work After the Pandemic Now, for ideas on how to monitor/measure employee experiences.

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

The pandemic has forever broadened the scope of flexible work. Many employees have learned to effectively work flexibly and/or remotely during the COVID-19 crisis and have experienced the benefits of flexible work. Organizational leaders are now considering how/what types of flexible work to offer after the pandemic. The Alliance has a number of recommendations for flexible work policies post-pandemic, so these initiatives can reap the greatest benefits in terms of work productivity, and recruitment/retention of top talent:

  1. Holistic Flexible Work – We strongly recommend implementing holistic flexible work policies, including reduced hours, telecommuting, flextime, compressed work week, asynchronous hours and job sharing options, as employees have individual flex needs. Additionally, by providing holistic flexible work options, employees who may not be able to utilize certain forms of flex due to their job function can still use other types of flex (i.e. a receptionist may not be able to telecommute due to his/her function but may be able to work reduced hours, flextime or compressed work week).

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.

One of the key, but most overlooked, steps in the Alliance’s Flex Success® Framework is to Reinforce Flex Success® by regularly monitoring and measuring flex programs. Through this process, organizations can more effectively assess, improve, publicize, and build upon flex programs. As a number of law firms and corporations have started to expand their flexible work offerings, we need to focus on what’s working, what we need to improve, how to share successes, and what additional flex programs we should consider. By doing this, we can gain true acceptance of flex programs in order to promote usage and reduce flex bias. Here are some specific ways to monitor and measure your flex programs:

Surveys: Surveys are a great way to collect information and metrics from a large workforce in an efficient manner. Organizations can conduct annual surveys to understand the importance employees place on flexibility, whether employees have the flexibility they need, the types of flexible work arrangements most appreciated, how often formal and informal flexible work options are utilized, and additional types of flexible work arrangements needed. These responses can help build a business case for the need to offer and expand flexible work arrangements. If you conduct a general employee opinion survey, see if these flex-related questions can be added and compared with responses from other questions related to employee satisfaction/commitment to demonstrate how flexibility impacts these areas.

Interviews: Interviews and focus groups with employees are a great way to gain more detailed information as to what’s working and what’s not. Think about adding questions relating to flexibility in exit interviews and check-in meetings with new employees. In order to understand the impact of flexibility on turnover, ask employees during exit interviews if they felt like they had the flexibility they needed, if they would have stayed if they had more flexibility, and what types of flexible work options they would have wanted. In order to understand the impact of flexibility on recruiting, ask new employees during check-in meetings the reasons why they chose to join your organization and how important flexibility is to them.

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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

 

Recent news articles have highlighted a few companies that have revoked their flexible work policies citing a loss of teamwork and productivity. It’s likely these flex initiatives failed due to either a lack of planning, analysis, structure, communication, education, and/or tracking. When it comes to developing your organization’s flexible work initiative, there are key components that need to be addressed to ensure its success. Here are our top 10 takeaways to consider when developing your flex policy:

  1. Understand that Flex is a Real Business Benefit

The foundation of a flexibility initiative must be the business case. Why does flexibility matter to you, and how will it improve your numbers? (Think about recruitment, retention, and the bottom-line.) Even the most change-resistant organizations are realizing there’s a war for talent out there, and they must evolve to keep up. Research shows that non-stigmatized, flexible work strengthens organizations by increasing tenure among employees and leads to stronger client/customer relationships, better recruitment, and greater profitability. Flexibility is not about being nice to your employees or providing an accommodation – it’s a true business imperative.

  1. Count Your Regrettable Losses

The easiest way to formulate your business case for flexibility is to count your regrettable losses. How many valuable and talented employees have walked out the door because of a lack of flexibility? You can take the organization’s business case further by considering the opportunities the firm has gained because of its flexibility or lost because of its lack of flexibility…

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