Workplace Flexibility Trends

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At the Executive HR Women's Network event on March 20th, 2013, Staffing Solutions Enterprises and ERC teamed up to provide participants with information from the Alfred P. Sloan and NorthCoast 99 programs.

 

SueAnn Naso, President of Staffing Solutions (establishing company of the Women's Network), presented data from the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility. Having been a winner of the prestigious national award in 2012, SueAnn explained some of the WorkFlex options Staffing Solutions offers its employees.

As a working mother herself, SueAnn can attest the importance of programs like part-time/flex-time work and phased work re-entry after childbirth. These WorkFlex options not only benefit employees - they support the bottom-line by increasing productivity and retention. Programs like phased retirement will help an organization as talent is leaving and during the transition to find new talent.

When Work Works, organizer of the Sloan Awards, is a joint partnership between the Families & Work Institute and national SHRM. As an award recipient, Staffing Solutions ranked in the top 20% of workplaces nationally. Questions on the application and confidential employee surveys range from flex time, location, and careers, to the culture of flexibility in the workplace. In addition to their resources online, When Work Works publishes a benchmarking report free to all applicants of the Sloan Awards.

 

Trends and best practices from the NorthCoast 99 program data were presented. In addition to flexible work schedules and paid time off, winners of the NorthCoast 99 Award are providing several key elements in their flexibility options, including:

  • Non-restrictive attendance policies
  • Workload management
  • Support benefits & services
  • Managers who are trained in supporting flexibility initiatives

Winners of the NorthCoast 99 Award are creating some innovative programs around workplace flexibility. Some of the more 'outside-the-box' programs include:

  • Offering an affordable on-site childcare center
  • Coaching on time management skills
  • Setting both personal & professional goals to help align performance
  • Having a shortened weekly schedule during the holiday season

 Jan Davis of Noble-Davis Consulting, Inc., Amy French of OEConnection, and Beth Stec of MCPc acted as panelists for the discussion following. In making flexibility successful at their organizations, some key trends emerged during the discussion. Among those are:

  • Communication
  • Balancing flexibility with the need for collaboration
  • Management setting the example
  • Flexible guidelines

For today's diverse workforce, a cookie-cutter flexibility program just won't work. The panelists recommended putting some basic guidelines in place while making room for adjustments as those become necessary. When life gets in the way, employers can either work with or work against their employees... and as the panelists noted, it simply makes good business sense to support the employee.

For more information on how to become involved with the Executive HR Women’s Network, contact Jessica Morris at Staffing Solutions via email at jmorris@staffsol.com