We met with Cassidy Solis at the 2014 Work and Families Research Network conference in New York, and it was great to reconnect and catch-up on all the wonderful progress that was made by When Work Works on bringing very practical, user-friendly examples and guidance to companies to implement flexible work.
Very often our guests on the podcast are researchers who bring us the latest discoveries about the world of work, labour markets and work-life balance. Very interesting and important, but often abstract and theoretical. Therefore it is such a great pleasure to be able to bring you a guest who has an incredible wealth of knowledge about what companies and employers can do in practice, and in very simple terms to make work work for all of their employees.
If you haven't yet, I urge you to visit the When Work Works website, which is abundant with resources, in particular their Workflex guides, which offer a lot of inspiration and practical guidance. As SHRM is one of the drivers of the Partnership, the practitioners' aspect can be clearly felt. We hear often from HR professionals, that they would really like to offer more flexibility to the employees, but as there are a lot of constraints, in particular in sectors like healthcare, manufacturing, hospitality or retail, they are not sure what to do.
When does the transformation happen in even small companies, which require a lot of presence? When the managers start to listen to the needs of the employees, and move away from a presenteeism approach, and focus on outcomes. What needs to get done around here, and how can we organise the work to make sure our employees can find meaning in their work, but also be present in their families?
Cassidy provides a number of very practical examples, and they all boil down to a pragmatic leadership decision - which views flexibility as a business imperative, and not a perk or benefit. The examples also all consider the every day effort and needs of the workforce and tries to give them as much control over their schedule as possible. And they really pay off, as Cassidy explains, these companies see their retention rates go through the roof.
When Work Works also organises an annual Workplace Award, so if you are interested in even more best practice beyond the ones detailed in the Guides, check out the winners, or why not participate? Or, to start you may also take the Workflex Assessment, and be benchmarked against other organisations.
You can also follow When Work Works on Twitter.