5 common HR strategies that can be solved through flexible work practices

We know that more and more employees and organisations are realising the benefits of flexible working in today’s workforce. But what might not be as clear is how flexible working can empower your organisation’s people and culture. Here are five common HR strategies that flexible work arrangements can help solve…

1. Attracting & Retaining Top Talent

Attracting and retaining top talent is one of the most important objectives for an organisation’s HR function. As our workforce continues to evolve, prospective employees are seeking more independence over where, when and how they work.

Likewise, current employees are becoming more aware of and asking for more flexible work arrangements than ever before. In Australia, 1 in 4 employees reported their intention to stay with their organisation due to positive work life balance provided in their workplace. With more and more sections of the workforce recognising the benefits of flexible work, implementing successful flexible work options in your organisation is necessary for attracting and retaining top talent.

2. Diversity & Inclusion

Today, the Australian workforce reflects the diversity of our population and successful leaders recognise the huge benefits that diverse skills, demographics and creativity bring to an organisation. Integrating flexible work arrangements to support employees and cultivate a thriving work culture can help organisations leverage the benefits of diverse thinking to create a competitive business advantage. Flexible work arrangements empower diverse demographics—like working parents, older employees transitioning to retirement, those with caring responsibilities and professionals with disabilities—by allowing them to better integrate their careers with their other obligations and needs.

Flexible work arrangements also help dispel the ‘motherhood penalty’—the myth that women with children are less ambitious or engaged with their work. Research shows us that flexible work arrangements can help promote workplace equality by supporting women to participate in the workforce and progress into more senior or executive-level roles.

3. Employee Engagement & Productivity

The links between employee engagement and productivity are well documented. When implemented successfully, flexible working arrangements help foster trust, open communication, and respect amongst teams—which are all big drivers of employee engagement. We know that feeling trusted to work independently is hugely empowering and energising for employees. This sense of trust helps employees to positively engage with their work and work more productively together. The freedom to balance tasks to suit individual work styles and circumstances means that flexible work arrangements help drive more efficient and effective work and also reduces the frequency of absenteeism as employees have the option to work remotely.

4. Wellbeing & Psych Safety

Flexible work arrangements are proven to boost physical and mental wellbeing for employees. In recent years, addressing employee wellbeing issues like burnout and psych safety has become a high priority. Not only is working to exhaustion harmful for employees but it detrimentally affects the performance of your business. Flexible work arrangements help employees find the time to support their physical and mental health on their own terms by enabling them to set clearer work-life boundaries. This study conducted by the University of New South Wales, the Black Dog Institute and the National Mental Health Commission found that increased job control, like that offered by flexible work, is connected to better mental health outcomes for employees.

Likewise, creating a successful flexible workforce inherently involves trust-building and team communication. These two elements can help create psychological safety in your workplace, where team members feel more confident to admit to mistakes, ask questions and offer new ideas without feeling embarrassed, dismissed or punished.

5. Capability Developments

In today’s workforce, developing employee capabilities is a proven way to drive business performance into the future. As the future of work continues to evolve, organisations need to be thinking about how to educate, equip and empower their employees to be flexible workers. Successfully implementing flex work in an organisation means developing a clear set of skills and capabilities for employees. We know that flexible work champions all share these capabilities: they are self aware, open minded team players who offer trust and believe in themselves (discover real stories from flexible work champions here). Many of these skills and capabilities are transferable, which means flexible work training is a comprehensive and wide-reaching approach to growing and developing people so they can excel in their roles.

Are you ready to use flexible work to empower your organisation’s people and culture? Let’s start a conversation today.

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