According to ManPower Group, in 2020, “Attracting and retaining skilled workers has rarely been more challenging as 69% of U.S. companies report talent shortages – the highest in more than a decade.” This is great if you’re looking for a job, but it’s frustrating if you’re looking to hire high performers.
Would you like to improve your ability to recruit and retain top talent during the current labor shortage?
Managers and leaders often shy away from flexible work arrangements because they feel like allowing this as an option will open up a faucet of requests that will be difficult to close. Because of COVID-19, most workers were thrust into a remote work situation, which had the potential to make things more difficult for the company. Managers with open minds and the ability to extend trust to others can easily add flexible work arrangements to their bag of recruiting and retention tricks.
Soon, we’ll all be back to “normal,” so keep reading for a reminder of exactly what flexible work arrangements are and why you should care!
What Da Ya Mean?
What exactly are flexible work arrangements? Well, that’s a good question, because many people have many different ideas of what “flexible” might mean in terms of work arrangements. The clearest way to describe them as a category is: Flexible work arrangements are alternatives to the traditional time and/or place of work structure. Employees with a flexible work arrangement may work a different schedule, number of hours, or in a different location that they normally would.
Flexible arrangements were initially designed primarily to meet work/life balance needs of employees. However, there are lots of benefits to employers as well.
Because they are desired by many people, companies use them as recruiting and retention tools. They can also save organization costs, reduce absenteeism, expand the scheduling of work over a longer period of the day, improve productivity, and increase employee engagement.
Examples include flextime, compressed workweeks, job sharing, and telecommuting.
Everything Old is New Again
In 2001, I designed the first job share work arrangement at my company. That was 17 years ago (yikes!), and job share arrangements had been around for a while already at that point.
Although flexible work arrangements have been around for over 2 decades, they experienced a resurgence pre-COVID. This is driven by the tight labor market and the fact that job seekers now expect flexible work arrangements to be a choice for them.
More employers are gradually shifting their focus from how long, what time, and where work is done to what is getting done… the results!
Try on a New Perspective
Rather than seeing these arrangements as something to avoid, try reframing them by focusing on the benefits and embracing them as a way to set your organization apart from others. Instead of focusing on why it won’t work in your workplace, ask yourself and your team how it could work.
How Can You Flex?
What flexible arrangements do you have in place now, which ones are you avoiding, and why?
You can leave your answer in a comment below.
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