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HR Policy Members Navigate Flexibility in the Evolving Workplace

The latest Future Forum pulse survey results demonstrated that employees without flexibility have high rates of attrition, leaving companies with decisions around how to increase flexibility not only in where their employees work, but when. Brian Elliott, Executive Leader of Future Forum and Senior Vice President, Slack Technologies, LLC, and Deborah Lovich, Managing Director and Senior Partner, Boston Consulting Group discussed the survey results and provided specific examples of how to create efficient and flexible policies for the changing workplace.

Ms. Lovich opened the conversation by stressing the importance of being intentional about culture, “culture is who we celebrate, who we hire, how we communicate, and how we make decisions.” 

Find purpose for in-office gatherings and lead by example: If the goal is to promote flexibility, leadership can demonstrate this by also working remotely some days and recognizing the differences between working from a c-suite office and a hoteling desk. Taking steps like this can help narrow the executive-employee disconnect demonstrated in the pulse survey. 

Keep employees engaged by focusing on career growth: Hybrid or remote environments have challenged the way managers interact with and evaluate employee performance. However, creating clear expectations and focusing on results and outcomes allow both managers and individual contributors to feel engaged in employee performance. Mr. Elliott commented that performance management is “harder than monitoring, and it requires more of managers, but its better for business as well as employees.”

For deskless workers, strategies around flexibility differ but it is possible to reimagine how some of their work is completed. We will explore the unique needs of the deskless worker population on our upcoming webinar, “Deskless Workers: Why They Leave and How to Retain Them” on September 15 at 1:00 pm ET. Register here.

Margaret Faso

Director of Health Care Research and Policy, American Health Policy Institute and HR Policy Association

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