With the ever-changing times, employees’ demands are also changing. Nowadays, people look for companies that offer work flexibility so that they can maintain a healthy balance between their professional and personal lives. This has resulted in employers implementing and improving flexibility in the workplace.
Business owners are shifting their focus to employees’ wellness as human resources are the key to overall success. Organizations have understood that investing in employees will ultimately improve business productivity and boost growth. So, HR managers encourage workplace flexibility and constantly find ways to improve it. Here, we have mentioned some best ways to improve the flexibility at your company:
Ways to Enhance the Workplace Flexibility
Find an Effective Approach
Employee flexibility doesn’t mean a lack of structure and plan. It doesn’t mean allowing the staff to arrive and go as they, please. Instead, it is an approach to provide autonomy to the workers and align the company objectives with it. Therefore, you must evaluate different options you can offer the workforce and find out which are the best fit according to organization policies.
The following tips can help you in choosing the best approach for your organization:
- Evaluate different options, such as hybrid work model, remote work, compressed workdays, job sharing, etc. And look for metrics to know how many of them are successful at the global level.
- Consider what the competitors are offering. There can be a negative impact on your hiring process if the competitor provides more flexible options.
- Choose the best approach that fits your company’s demands and other affecting factors.
Encourage Breaks and Leaves
Usually, managers only consider modifying work hours and shifts to enable flexibility, but they should also consider employees’ leaves and breaks. Breaks and leaves provide employees a chance to refocus on their work. In addition, flexible leave policies help to improve employee satisfaction as every person might not be happy with your determined holidays and rules. So, you must also enable restricted holidays for the staff so that they can take a day off on occasions and important events. And you must also encourage the workforce to take leaves and breaks.
Here mentioned are some essential points you must consider:
- Evaluate your leave policy and modify it to put the staff in the first place. Discuss the PTO openly and solve employees’ queries regarding the rules.
- Demonstrate that the company encourages work-life balance and allows taking day-offs for no reason.
- Explain the benefits of taking breaks to the staff and highlight opportunities for self-development through leaves/breaks.
Take Account of Employees’ Personal Interests
Workplace flexibility is closely linked with the company culture and values. So, it is essential to establish an effective, flexible policy to demonstrate an employee-centric work culture. Though encouraging the workforce’s hobbies might not affect your employer’s brand or work culture, it can indicate to the staff that the company acknowledges work-life balance.
You must go through the below-mentioned steps to focus on employee self-development and hobbies:
- Arrange mentorship programs to guide the staff through their hobbies and how they can develop themselves.
- Organize a “lunch and learn” event and encourage everyone to share unique ideas and hobbies with others.
- Appreciate your employees’ talent and skills, and publish their videos on social media. This will also enhance your employer’s brand.
Establish and Communicate Expectations
Flexible work policies are intended to provide autonomy to the staff, but there might be instances of procrastination. So, your employees should know what the organization expects from them and what duties they ought to perform. Therefore, you must communicate your expectation clearly and make the staff visualize the preferred results of their tasks. You can set SMART goals for the workforce to show them how their efforts add up to the bigger picture. As an HR manager, it is your responsibility to implement workplace policies that support employee autonomy and accountability.
You can effectively set and communicate the expectations by following these steps:
- Consider the standard work hours and ideal tasks that should be completed within the time.
- Arrange a two-way discussion with the staff to talk about the goals and targets.
- Be as straightforward as possible, and prioritize quality over quantity.
Limit the Number of Meetings
Meetings are necessary, but excessive meetings can result in decreased employee productivity. Whether face-to-face or virtual, unnecessary meetings can severely impact staff productivity. In fact, as per fortune.com, 65% of workers said that meetings keep them from completing their work. So, it is crucial to determine how much time the workforce wastes on unnecessary discussions and meetings and how much it costs.
The following tips can help you redefine the meeting policy:
- Check if the purpose of the meeting is genuine and adds value to all the participants. And if necessary, communicate the agenda with everyone and keep the discussion short and direct-to-point.
- Allow the participants to leave the discussion when they are not adding up any value, and set breaks if the meeting duration is lengthy.
- Apply different methods to optimize the meetings. Start the discussion with appreciation, allow putting opinions, and note each important detail.
Organizations offering flexible work models to employees are leading the future of work. It sets them apart from others and results in overall job satisfaction. Moreover, it boosts employee engagement and decreases staff turnover. However, making and implementing plans is not enough; you must evaluate the results regularly to measure their effectiveness. You should use pulse surveys to see how employees respond to the changed work policies. Also, you should check the difference in employee retention rate before and after applying the flexible work model.
The work flexibility model is affected and determined by numerous aspects, so it is just like “one size doesn’t fit all.” A workplace flexibility model for one organization might not suit the other, so keep the business requirements and workplace conditions in mind when preparing a plan.