McLean & Company, the trusted partner of HR and leadership professionals around the world, has released its latest research-backed blueprint, Develop a Targeted Flexible Work Program. The newly released resource was designed to help HR leaders develop the flexible work model needed to attract, retain, and engage quality talent. As the future of work continues to trend in the direction of permanent remote and hybrid, flexible work options that balance both organizational and employee needs have become crucial considerations for employers amidst a challenging labor market.
McLean & Company’s research indicates workplace flexibility continues to be the top priority for employees. As a result, organizations that fail to offer flexibility will have a more difficult time attracting, recruiting, and retaining talent. However, a one-size-fits-all approach to selecting and implementing flexible work options fails to consider unique employee needs and will not reap the benefits of a flexible work program. For example, the benefits of remote work are not always available to everyone, raising fairness and equity concerns among employees.
The research further highlights how the improper structure and implementation of flexible work programs can exacerbate existing challenges or even create new ones. Therefore, it is important for organizations to uncover the unique needs of specific employee segments to shortlist flexible work options that staff want and will use.
McLean & Company’s engagement survey database suggests that employees who are satisfied with the workplace flexibility offered by their organization are 3.7 x more likely to be engaged in the workplace. Employees who find their workload reasonable are also 2.6 x more likely to be engaged.
McLean & Company’s timely blueprint suggests a three-step process to develop a targeted, flexible work program:
1. Assess the organization’s current state
- Identify key stakeholders and their responsibilities, uncover the current and desired state of the organization, analyze feedback to identify flexibility challenges, identify and prioritize employee segments, determine program goals, and identify the degree of flexibility for work location, timing, and deliverables.
2. Identify the potential flex options and assess the feasibility of those options for both employees and the organization
- Create a shortlist of potential options for each prioritized employee segment, evaluate the achievability and determine the cost and benefit of each potential option, gather employee sentiment, and finalize options with senior leadership.
3. Implement the selected option(s)
- Address implementation issues and cultural barriers, equip the organization to adopt flexible work options successfully, pilot the program and assess its success, develop a plan for program rollout and communication, establish a program evaluation, and plan and align HR programs to support the program.
Assessing the feasibility of various flexible work options and selecting those that meet requirements while also being practical for the business is an effective way to start developing a flexible work program.
However, flexible work is more than just a flexible location. Organizations must understand the needs of unique employee groups to uncover the options that will attract and retain talent. When flexible work options benefit both an employee and the organization, it will result in mutual long-term success.
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