It’s not as easy for large, entrenched companies as it is for smaller companies used to moving and changing rapidly.
But businesses that have adopted flex-options have saved real money by redistributing willing workers’ time. They’ve seen:
Increases in both worker and client satisfaction;
Retention of well-trained and productive employees; and
An increase in employee morale.
Flexibility means creating a cohesive relationship between you and your employees. Before doing a knee-jerk reaction (eliminating jobs altogether), consider what alternatives are available. After all, when the economy rebounds eventually, you’re going to need your best employees to help lead the way. Hiring a bunch of new employees when business picks up will not result in proportionately great results.
Consider, the following – as suggested by Dr. Malcolm Smith in the New Hampshire Business Review:
Flexible hours that allow workers to get their job done and still have time for family and personal life needs;
A compressed workweek that enables employees to work allotted hours over fewer days;
Flexible leave, which allows for paid time off to care for children or aging parents, personal illness, personal issues and parental leave for birth, adoption or care of a foster child (this is required for all businesses in California and businesses with more than 50 employees nationally); and
Flexible career-planning, which allows for phased–out retirement, as well as professional-development leaves and sabbaticals.
Most importantly – make sure to communicate frequently with your employees on your intentions – get their input. You’ll be surprised what happens when everyone works together.