No. 2 of: 8 Ways to Increase Employee Engagement
Work flexibility and commute times are two of the most important motivating factors in Ireland, according to Aperture Partners Employee Engagement Report 2018.¹⁴ Not surprisingly, flexibility increases in importance with age (the opposite of financial benefits)
In a Deloitte survey, employees were asked whether their managers granted them enough flexibility to meet personal and/or family responsibilities. The employees who agreed that they had access to flexibility scored 32% higher in their commitment to the company than those without flexibility.
Gallup has consistently reported that flexible scheduling and work-from-home opportunities play a major role in an employee’s decision to take or leave a job. Employees are pushing companies to break down the long-established structures and policies that traditionally have influenced their workdays.
Flexibility in terms of core hours and/or homeworking can be a powerful retention strategy, especially for employees with proven ability.
And in many examples, flexibility can easily improve productivity - eg by removing or reducing the wastefulness of the morning commute. Or by enabling a better environment for specific tasks – eg in writing this eBook, I spent time working from home, and in various cafes.
And my experience was that this flexibility allowed me to produce higher quality output in a shorter time. Sitting in the office with headphones on all day trying to avoid distraction is not always the best way to get things done!
"Employees who have flexibility scored 32% higher in their commitment to the company".
While there obviously needs to be policies and guidelines around flexibility (for multitude of reasons from fairness to safety), perhaps the biggest engagement factor about flexibility is the human touch. By that I mean the company treating a valued employee as an individual and getting to work with them in a more personal way to get the best result for both.
So as the trends for more flexible core hours, homeworking, and for moving away from private cars towards public transport continue apace, there are plenty of opportunities for savvy companies to tap into this potential for enhanced employee engagement – as long as you can break with “the way we’ve always done it” mentality.
Read the next of our: 8 Ways to Increase Employee Engagement>
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