Overcoming Resistance To Flex Work Handouts


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Handouts from presentation at IL SHRM State Conference 2009

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Overcoming Resistance To Flex Work Handouts

  1. 1. Overcoming Resistance to Flexible Work July 24, 2009
  2. 2. Goals for this session <ul><li>Examine attitudes and preconceptions about flexible work </li></ul><ul><li>Provide practical ways to address and overcome them </li></ul><ul><li>Present a roadmap for launching a flexible workplace </li></ul>
  3. 3. Flexible workplaces have been proven to deliver bottom-line results <ul><li>Attract talent </li></ul><ul><li>Employee loyalty </li></ul><ul><li>Employee engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Customer satisfaction </li></ul><ul><li>Customer retention </li></ul><ul><li>Customer service levels </li></ul><ul><li>Continuity/disaster readiness </li></ul><ul><li>Productivity </li></ul><ul><li>Profitability </li></ul><ul><li>Absenteeism </li></ul><ul><li>Turnover </li></ul><ul><li>Real estate costs </li></ul><ul><li>Utilities </li></ul><ul><li>Expenses </li></ul>
  4. 4. But… <ul><li>Flexibility in many organizations is still considered: </li></ul><ul><li>benefit </li></ul><ul><li>accommodation </li></ul><ul><li>“ soft” </li></ul><ul><li>impediment to career advancement </li></ul><ul><li>informal </li></ul><ul><li>non-existent </li></ul>
  5. 5. How many of you… <ul><li>have a flex work program currently? </li></ul><ul><li>are considering one? </li></ul><ul><li>have encountered resistance along the way? </li></ul>
  6. 6. Who was the source of resistance? <ul><ul><li>Management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Peers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Yourself </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All of the above </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s very common to encounter resistance at all levels, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>even once a program is in place. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>What are some of the most common concerns? How can we address them? </li></ul>
  8. 8. 1. We’re a high performing organization <ul><li>We have work that needs to get done and clients to be served. We can’t have our employees all over the place and not know what they’re doing. </li></ul><ul><li>Characteristics of a flex team: </li></ul><ul><li>transparency </li></ul><ul><li>communication </li></ul><ul><li>teamwork </li></ul><ul><li>goal orientation </li></ul><ul><li>creativity </li></ul>Best Buy : Employee productivity increased 35% after implementing a ROWE Capital One : 74% of employees say flex increased their productivity. Improved speed of communication by 33% from peers, 25% from managers
  9. 9. 2. Our business requires on-site workers <ul><li>We’re a manufacturing/hospitality/on-premise company that needs workers to be physically present, so flex won’t work for us. </li></ul><ul><li>A new study by Corporate Voices for Working Families identifies best practices for hourly workers: </li></ul><ul><li>Occasional flextime </li></ul><ul><li>Shift trades </li></ul><ul><li>Alternate shift scheduling </li></ul><ul><li>Vacation half-days </li></ul>Continental Airlines Reservations Department: 5% turnover rate vs. industry average 40% due to flex work program PNC Financial Services Group : Reduced overtime and unscheduled absences with flex <ul><li>Employee designed schedules </li></ul><ul><li>Remote work </li></ul><ul><li>Flextime coupons </li></ul>
  10. 10. 3. Do it for one? We have to do it for all. <ul><li>And, we’re not sure everyone should have flexibility. How do I handle the jealousy? Who’ll answer the phones on Fridays? </li></ul><ul><li>Accommodation: </li></ul><ul><li>Biggest mistake companies make </li></ul><ul><li>Too hard to track </li></ul><ul><li>Grows out of control </li></ul><ul><li>Takes on a life of its own </li></ul><ul><li>Formalize your program: control the process to control the outcome. </li></ul>Life Meets Work Study : 77% of employers surveyed said they offered FWA’s, yet only 20% of employees thought their employer was supportive of work/life issues. Hewitt Study : Less than 50% of companies communicated their flex programs, 31% of those in order to limit use.
  11. 11. 3. Flexibility is a matter of degrees <ul><li>Accommodation ROWE </li></ul><ul><li>Individual Team </li></ul><ul><li>Job Career </li></ul>
  12. 12. 4. Flex teams are harder to manage <ul><li>Our managers aren’t trained to be able to manage a flexible work team. </li></ul><ul><li>Managing flex workers makes us better managers. </li></ul><ul><li>Set goals, communicate, track performance. </li></ul><ul><li>Training benefits all managers, not just those managing flex teams. </li></ul><ul><li>5 Keys to successfully managing a flex team: </li></ul><ul><li>Agree upon rules of engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Create a sense of place </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate deliberately </li></ul><ul><li>Set goals and track performance </li></ul><ul><li>Choose the right people </li></ul>
  13. 13. 5. Won’t they be home watching Oprah? <ul><li>How do I know my employees won’t be at home doing their laundry or running errands on company time? </li></ul><ul><li>Set goals and expectations and track performance. </li></ul><ul><li>Flex is a two-way street: agree to rules of engagement. </li></ul><ul><li>Based on performance, not who’s last to leave the employee lot. </li></ul><ul><li>Many of your employees are out of sight anyway on sales calls, site visits, etc. </li></ul>Sun Microsystems’ Open Work program: 60% of time spent commuting is now given back in the form of work. Telecommuters score higher on performance ratings than onsite peers National Science Foundation Study: 87% of employees and managers agreed telecommuters’ productivity improved or stayed the same.
  14. 14. 6. We don’t have resources to devote to this <ul><li>We’re just trying to stay afloat. We don’t have the money/time/energy to focus on this right now. </li></ul><ul><li>Flex programs deliver what you need in a recession: </li></ul><ul><li>real-estate and utility cost savings </li></ul><ul><li>improved productivity and employee engagement </li></ul><ul><li>reduced turnover </li></ul><ul><li>Flex doesn’t have to cost money. You’re not obligated to buy everyone a laptop. </li></ul>State of Utah: Implemented a four-day workweek in Summer, 2008 Cut energy use by 13% across 900 government office buildings Sun Microsystems’ Open Work program: saves over $70M/yr in real estate costs
  15. 15. 7. Our employees aren’t going anywhere <ul><li>There’s great talent in the market and our employees can’t leave. Is this really necessary? </li></ul><ul><li>They may not be leaving now, but job switching increases dramatically during a recovery. </li></ul><ul><li>Take steps now to improve loyalty and retention. </li></ul><ul><li>Attract “A” talent now and in the future. Top talent wants flex. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid turnover costs when the market turns. </li></ul><ul><li>The labor shortage still exists. It’s just masked by the recession. </li></ul>Corporate Voices for Working Families Study: 80% of managers and employees agree that flexibility is important to attract and retain talent. Clean Air Campaign Study: 60% of teleworkers are less likely to look for another job
  16. 16. <ul><li>Where do we go from here? </li></ul>
  17. 17. 10 steps to successful implementation <ul><li>Build the business case. </li></ul><ul><li>Select FWA’s to fit your culture. </li></ul><ul><li>Determine KPI’s to judge success. </li></ul><ul><li>Agree upon rules of engagement. </li></ul><ul><li>Launch a pilot. </li></ul><ul><li>Invest in training. </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate results. </li></ul><ul><li>Engage employees at the right time. </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage performance-based management. </li></ul><ul><li>Expand the program. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Thank you! <ul><li>If you have questions or need additional information, please contact me: </li></ul><ul><li>Kyra Cavanaugh </li></ul><ul><li>President </li></ul><ul><li>Life Meets Work </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>888-462-5691 </li></ul>