Good people are key to building a good company.
Of course you need plenty of other things to succeed in the business world: a solid product, a viable strategy, a strong position in the marketplace. But if you don’t have skilled, motivated, hard-working, and dedicated employees, chances are your company won’t be around for long, even if all of those other factors have fallen into place.
That’s why businesses spend so much time, energy, and money trying to recruit—and then keep—the best workers. The process of hiring, training, and retaining workers is expensive, but turnover can cost companies even more.
If it’s safe to assume that all companies are looking for an edge in this area, it’s also clear that offering workers flexibility is one way to get it.
When making the business case for the importance of flexibility in efforts to find and retain employees, consider these four points:
1. By offering flexibility, you expand the talent pool.
Make no mistake: it’s a competitive market out there. If a company wants to find and hire the best people, it needs to look outside its normal recruiting area.
Flexibility helps with that in many ways. If a company is comfortable hiring people who can work from home occasionally, shift their schedules, work part time, or even complete their tasks from a coffee shop two thousand miles away from corporate headquarters, its pool of potential job candidates increases dramatically.
Flexibility can also help a business recruit different kinds of workers who have specific flexibility needs, including people with disabilities, parents looking for better work-life balance, new mothers seeking part-time or flexible hours, and baby boomers who may want to transition out of full-time work, among others.
2. Millennials are taking over the work force, and they expect flexibility.
The rise of millennials in the work force is a hot topic of conversation these days, and this increasingly powerful demographic group is likely to change the economy in many ways. One fact that is already abundantly clear is that, when it comes to their jobs, millennials expect flexibility.
For example, according to a recent survey, 84 percent of millennials said they wanted more work-life balance, and 67 percent said they wanted flexibility in order to spend more time with family.
All businesses are competing to hire and keep millennials. If a company wants to succeed in its efforts, it had better offer some flexible work options.
3. Flex workers are more satisfied, and satisfied workers are less likely to leave.
According to statistics compiled by Global Workplace Analytics, two-thirds of people want to work from home, and 36 percent would choose that option over a pay raise. Furthermore, 80 percent of employees consider telework to be a job perk, 95 percent of employers say telework has a high impact on employee retention, and 46 percent of companies that allow telework say it has reduced attrition.
These and similar statistics paint a fairly clear picture. Workers want flexibility, and when they get it, they’re happier. Happier employees are more productive, more loyal, and less likely to be tempted to jump ship when new opportunities arise. All of that is good news for a company that wants to keep its quality employees.
4. A company that offers flexibility will build good word of mouth, internally and externally.
Not only will those happy workers be more loyal, but they’ll also be more likely to speak highly of their employer to friends and family members. Since recruitment has always been as much (or more) about who you know as about what you know, building a culture of flexibility that your employees can tout is important.
As a side benefit, news of that flexible culture will spread to people who don’t know any of your current workers, attracting even more excellent candidates. And since people generally like to interact with colleagues who are just as hard-working, dedicated, and smart as they are, this can be beneficial to retention, too.
These four points clearly show the benefits of work flexibility to employee recruiting and retention. What would you add to the list? Please leave your ideas in the comments section.
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