Have you ever wondered what helps attract and retain the best employees in your industry? Is it a great working environment, challenging work, or a generous benefits package? It’s all of the above plus some surprisingly easy to offer benefits. Job flexibility is one area that requires little financial outlay on your part but does indeed help attract and keep the best and brightest talent.
What Candidates Really Want
Each generation wants different things based on their state of life and future goals. Baby Boomers, on the cusp of retirement or already entering retirement, want security for their old age and legacy to pass onto their children and grandchildren. Generation X, the generation following the Baby Boomers, values both monetary security and flexibility and Millennials, the new group entering the workforce, really likes job flexibility. Depending on what positions you are recruiting for – senior or entry-level – your company may wish to consider various flexible work arrangement offers as part of a benefits package.
What is job flexibility? Each company or organization defines it differently, but in general, it’s an attitude toward working hours that breaks free from the typical 9 to 5 workday. Flextime can include varying working hours, “banking” extra hours to “spend” as employees need, and telecommuting options, to name just a few of the many ways in which companies are now viewing employment arrangements.
How can organizations survive with workers arriving when they want to and leaving when they want? The answer is, they really can’t. That’s why structure and boundaries placed around flextime are critical both for your peace of mind and to serve your clients and constituents. Some simple guidelines can help you launch flextime options within your organization to recruit and retain talented people.
Is Job Flexibility New?
Not according to a survey published in the Journal of Accountancy. In fact, if your organization is now offering some form of flex time, you may be behind the curve. According to this survey, two-thirds of all companies in six out of seven revenue categories offer some form of flex time. Most of the companies answering the survey reduce staff during the off-peak season. Some offer telecommuting, but the smaller the company, the less likely they are to allow it.
How You Can Make Job Flexibility Work
As we mentioned previously, to make job flexibility work, you must put boundaries in place around it. That means having a written human resources policy about job flexibility options and guidelines in place about how to use them.
- Flex time: Flexible working hour policies include clearing work hours one week or more in advance with supervisors, limits on how many days per that employees may change hours, and similar guidelines.
- Hour “banking”: Hour banking means allowing employees to work a nine hour day when scheduled for an eight hour day and “saving” the extra hour in a bank that can be applied to personal time or vacation time. Such banking works best when hours are clocked carefully, and you may need to limit the number of hours banked during a calendar year and establish rules about carrying over hours.
- Telecommuting policies: Telecommuting policies may limit the number of days per week out of the office or may require employees to be available during specific business hours.
- Cloud Technology Makes Telecommuting BetterCloud technology makes telecommuting a viable option even for the smallest companies. Software that is cloud-based can be accessed anywhere, anytime. Shared data and files are also stored in a central system that can be accessed through any internet connection. Employees can use their personal computers for telecommuting just as easily as their work computers because both can access cloud systems.
The world has changed from the days when a strict, 9 to 5 policy was in place at most jobs. Now, employees crave work-life balance, and one way to offer it to them is through flexible job options. It’s a benefit that yields many perks for both employees and employers alike.
Welter Consulting bridges people and technology together for effective solutions for nonprofit organizations. We offer software and services that can help you with your accounting needs. Please contact Welter Consulting at 206-605-3113 for more information.