Flexibility at work is more important than ever; for employees and employers alike. So, how can HR Leaders and Managers do more to help people balance their lives?
The term ‘quiet quitting’ is being worriedly whispered in HR halls the world over. People are re-prioritising their work to create more balance in their lives. This movement starkly reminds us that it isn't only those with parental or caring responsibilities that need flexibility in their work - it never was. Here's how to get ahead of the game and help, not hinder, this rightful reclamation of a more balanced life:
Don’t assume that the people outside of HR are aware of the need to face flexibility head on. Yes we’ve been talking about work/life balance for ages but it’s rarely been as important as it is now. Use this as an opportunity to lead the way for your organisation and sell the long-term benefits in the way only you know how to do.
Make it accessible
Even if your organisation already has a flexible working policy it might be worth reviewing and then (re)broadcasting it to the widest audience possible. Some policies assume that flexibility will only be given to people with caring or parental responsibilities and this doesn’t go far enough. Some employees assume this too, even if it’s not the case. This can make more flexibility feel out of reach for the average employee and have a big impact on their levels of engagement.
Make it personal
Do you know what flexibility means to the people in your organisation? If not, it is definitely worth finding out more. Tailoring how you support flexibility in your organisation will always have more impact than being drawn to the siren call of ‘what the trendy start-ups are doing’.
Think outside the box
Flexibility doesn’t just mean flexible working. In fact, setting the bar here simply doesn’t work in certain industries. For most, flexibility simply means more autonomy; a chance to take charge of how they work and how work fits into their life. Use the information you gather to create innovative ways to provide employees with what they need to feel more in control of their careers.
Make it part of the plan
Don’t add this as an addendum to your current strategy - put it right at the centre. Meeting the human needs of employees will always answer the ‘how do we achieve this’ question in any organisational strategy. By giving people the freedom to do their work, their way, you will pave the way to organisational success, increase retention and build a more satisfied workforce.
Book: The Awareness Code
Article: Why flexible work boosts employee productivity, Forbes
Article: Forget flexibility, your employees want autonomy, HBR
Article: Quiet quitting: why the bare minimum at work has gone global, The Guardian
Listen: Rethinking flexibility at work, Adam Grant for TED Audiocollective