By Lisa Horn and Shirley Davis
Paper — symbolizing strength from the connection of individual threads — is a traditional gift for a first anniversary.
Making a strong connection is a fitting description as SHRM marks the first anniversary of the groundbreaking partnership on workplace flexibility with the Families and Work Institute (FWI).
Announced Feb. 1, 2011, by SHRM President and CEO Hank Jackson and FWI President Ellen Galinsky at the National Press Club, the partnership works to help organizations transform how they view and adopt flexible workplace practices such as flex time, compressed work weeks and phased retirement.
SHRM and FWI have been busy during this first year. Since last February, the partnership has:
- Conducted webcasts to highlight workplace flexibility as a key business strategy;
- Produced new research to dispel common myths and unsupported assumptions;
- Published two editions of the Guide to Bold New Ideas for Making Work Work;
- Hosted the first Work-Life Focus Conference;
- Educated employers about the business benefits of workplace flexibility through the When Work Works initiative.
And that’s just the beginning.
In February, we will be in Rhode Island, where the SHRM Rhode Island State Council is partnering with the Providence Chamber of Commerce to host a program on workplace flexibility. The program will include a discussion by organizations that have won the Sloan Award for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility, which is given by SHRM and FWI.
Watch for other appearances this year in Virginia, Oregon, Idaho and Michigan, as SHRM encourages its members and other employers to apply for the prestigious award. We also will be participating in an Alaska SHRM State Council webinar.
In March, the partnership will release the National Study of Employers, the most comprehensive study of the practices, policies, programs and benefits provided by U.S. employers to address the changing needs of today’s workforce and workplace. An Employer Resource Guide will be published later this spring to help HR professionals design and implement effective workplace flexibility strategies.
HR professionals can expect even more in 2012 from the helpful research, tools, and information generated by the SHRM-FWI partnership. For more information and resources on flexible work environments, visit SHRM’s Workplace Flexibility Resource Page.
Shirley Davis and Lisa Horn are co-project directors for the SHRM-FWI partnership on workplace flexibility.