Languages never remain static; they constantly evolve – adding and deleting words based on changing life and work attitudes, circumstances and events. Many times the words are cultural or social markers (bromance, helicopter parents, wedged, dash the cash‘trep, digital nomad, osmosis marketing and mancession). One new term that seems to be gaining awareness is work-flex.
Work-flex is one potential solution to the challenge of work/life balance. How can responsibilities of the job be created in a more fluid and flexible way to accommodate employees’ life commitments while encouraging employee loyalty and performance?
In the CEO column in the October issue of HRMagazine, Society of Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) CEO, Henry G. Jackson, reminds all of us who connect employees to work, performance and the workplace, that flexible workplaces are how work is best done.
He tells how researchers for CareerBliss, an online career community, found that work/life accommodations have a greater impact on employee satisfaction than salary. Also cited is that researchers for a division of Staples reported that employees who telecommute at least day a week are shown to be less stressed, happier and more loyal.
It is also a reminder in a world of options, customers and employees want the flexibility to buy and work in ways that appeal to them. Wise organizations see this request for customization as a means to separate themselves from others – to connect better and to build loyalty.
Ask these questions to assess whether you can build some work-flex in your workplace?
- What is the best, most efficient and profitable way to get work done?
- What work choices can we provide employees that accommodate their lifestyles and life needs?
- How can we clearly define employee performance expectations so the focus moves to performance accountability (add value) instead of job attendance?
Sometimes new language just explains a fad; sometimes, new language can actually get us to pay attention to something of value (we should always be watching, listening and learning). Work-flex reminds us that employees want flexibility in how they work – and for this accommodation, they respond with greater effort, engagement and loyalty.
Jay Forte is a nationally ranked thought leader and President of Humanetrics. Jay guides organizations – their leaders and managers – in how to attract, hire and retain today’s best talent. He is the author of “Fire Up! Your Employees and Smoke Your Competition” and “The Greatness Zone – Know Yourself, Find Your Fit, Transform The World.” Jay is a member of SHRM, ASTD, the National Speakers Association and the Florida Speakers Association. follow him on Twitter.