SHRM's Workplace Flexibility Initiative

After a long weekend on a business trip, I can’t help but think about motivation on this Monday morning. What is it that drives us to work hard (even weekends), perform at a high level, and do it consistently for an organization? Is money enough? According to SHRM research, 58 percent of HR professionals suggest the best way to retain and reward the best people is to provide flexibility to balance life and work, while only 23 percent thought a higher total rewards package (i.e. compensation) was the best way to meet this challenge. So the research confirms what I already know – it’s about more than the money for most of us, including me.

Knowing what employees value is key for HR.

Flexibility is a key business strategy because organizations with effective and flexible workplace strategies enjoy positive business benefits. For example, Ryan LLC, a tax services company saw voluntary turnover drop from 18.5% to 8.5% after implementing “myRyan,” a program that allows individuals to work with their supervisors to establish measurable goals, then decide for themselves where and when to do the work. Or consider that new mothers at Menlo Innovations LLC are allowed to bring their infants to work and parents often bring their children to work when schools are closed. No wonder they attract top talent in a competitive field and enjoy exceptionally low turnover! Both companies have been awarded the coveted Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility and featured in the 2011 Guide to Bold New Ideas for Making Work Work.

Does your organization embrace a culture of flexibility? If not, you might be at risk of losing top performers to your competitors. To help you, SHRM has a number of valuable resources that demonstrate how flexible workplaces can benefit both your employees and your employer. The SHRM Workplace Flexibility Resource Page is a one-stop shop of information, articles, and research on flexible work arrangements, time-off and other workplace flexibility offerings. Later this year, in conjunction with our partnership with the Families and Work Institute, we’ll be releasing new research, the 2012 Guide to Bold New Ideas, an Employer Resource Guide, and hosting our first thought leader Work-Life Focus Conference Nov. 8-10 in Washington, D.C. So rest assured that SHRM is here to help you respond to this next business imperative!

As for my motivation, it comes in the form of several flexible work arrangements here at SHRM that will allow me to see my oldest off to her first day of kindergarten, attend my three year-old’s summer musical, and then have a “compressed” Friday – and the value of all that is priceless.

The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

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