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By: Lyndsey Nelson

shutterstock_143609443Attracting and retaining top talent is one of the biggest challenges in workplaces today. Employers are constantly looking for ways to keep and engage this talent and offer something that other organizations may not be. Flexibility in when, where and how employees do their work can be a major game changer and a key factor in maintaining motivation and commitment to the organization.

Organizations that are too rigid and structured often minimize productivity and creativity in employees. And for many employees, this structure just doesn’t work. If you collaborate with employees and allow them to structure or customize their job in their own way, you will get far more and far better work out of people. Say for example you have an employee who isn’t exactly a morning person – if you let them come in at 10am and leave around 6pm, you will maximize their time more than if they came in at 8am and dragged their feet around for the first 2 hours. The same goes for those with family commitments, where they want to come in at 7am to be able to leave at 3pm to pick up their kids from daycare. They may not be focused in the afternoon because they are too busy worrying about what’s going on at home with their family. You want to minimize the hours that you are paying where productivity and output is low from employees.

Flexibility is a game changer. Let people set their own hours. If that isn’t possible, find ways to provide flexibility within their workload or daily tasks.Tweet: Let people set their own hours or find ways to provide #Flexibility within their workload or tasks. @EngagedHR #HR

If it’s not possible to change employees work schedules because of work demands, it may be possible to find flexibility in how or where people do their work. People want to feel like they have some control in their work – whether it’s what tasks they complete in a day, how they actually complete their tasks, or what projects they can get involved in. Or it may also be allowing people to get out of the distracting and chaotic office, which can create stagnation, and let them work from home or another space. Getting out of the office can give them the space to get heads down in their work or let the creative juices flow for a project.

Providing employees with more flexibility in their day or the way they schedule their work allows people to give you their full focus when they are at work. You’ll see a big difference in productivity and output from people, as well will create loyalty to the organization – because people know that what they are getting from you is not available everywhere they go. They will appreciate what they are receiving from you.

Check out this info graphic for some tips to building a more flexible work environment: Workplace Flexibility Attracts and Retains Top Talent


Your Assignment: Give employees the room to experience and exert flexibility in their work. Work with them to see where you may be able to allow some more flexibility in when, how or where they do their work. It will be different for all employees as their needs differ, so be open to what may work for them individually.

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