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Technology has given CPA firm Mahoney Ulbrich
Christiansen & Russ the ability to offer flexibility options to
employees, but the firm leaders realize how work can infringe
on family/personal time. So, employees are encouraged to
use "out-of-office" responders and to set boundaries around
work and personal hours. Managers try to avoid sending
emails at night and on weekends to prevent the impression
that a response is expected.
St. Paul, MN 46 employees
Implementation: Moving to Action
Once you've identified which forms of
workflex may work for your organization,
the next step is implementation.
Here are five strategies to implement
workflex:
1. Position workflex as a business
strategy and build the business case.
Identify your organization's strategic
priorities and business goals and
design workflex initiatives to meet
those goals. Focus on how business,
and not just employees, will benefit
from workflex.
2. Customize your program.
Talk with your employees about
what workflex initiatives might work
best. Use their feedback to design
a program that will produce desired
business results and satisfy the needs
of employees.
3. Incorporate change management
strategies.
Workflex is a different way of working
and requires changes in individual
mindsets and in the culture of your
organization. Involve key stakeholders,
offer manager and employee training,
and build communication strategies
to facilitate a smooth implementation
process.
4. Track metrics.
Establish metrics you will use to evalu-
ate your workflex initiatives. Tracking
metrics will help you understand
78 percent of employers
report having difficulty
recruiting employees for
highly skilled jobs.
Workflex Success Stories from When Work Works
Award-Winning Organizations
BlumShapiro offers unlimited sick and personal leave time
and encourages its employees to take their yearly vacation
time. Staff members are empowered with laptops and IT
support so they can easily work from home and also create
flexible schedules. The company credits a flexible work
environment for their higher-than-average retention -- with
turnover less than the public accounting industry average.
West Hartford 400 employees throughout New England
PwC utilizes cross training and rewards to bolster flexibility. A
national contest encourages work teams to plan for flexibility,
including rewarding those who embrace the plan. Firm
leaders promote flexibility even in jobs that don't traditionally
lend themselves to it, such as receptionist positions. Cross
training ensures that there is always someone who can cover
a position so that flexibility can be extended to all employees.
Charlotte, NC 560 worksite employees and 30,000 employees in
the U.S.
BDO USA encourages employees to think of both day-to-day
and formal flexibility, and every office has a volunteer "Flex
Lead" to serve as a local resource. The focus is on "fit" rather
than "balance" to customize flexibility for each employee, and
leadership views flexibility as a lever for managing business
cycles in order to creatively structure teams and work days.
Stamford 16 worksite employees and 5,440 employees in the U.S.
Nonprofit social service agency Catholic Charities has
found that flexible work can help increase job satisfaction
when offering big paychecks isn't an option. Technology has
helped facilitate greater flexibility through increased access
to files and email, which also helps to better serve clients.
Leaders have seen workplace flexibility increase engagement
and retention without sacrificing productivity.
Winona, MN 16 employees
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Connecticut CPA
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May/June 2017