Executive Vitality™: What Top Talent Wants

Executive Vitality™: What Top Talent WantsWhat top talent wants is a crucial issue to reverse engineer in your company. It isn’t hard to figure out once you get into the correct frame of mind. Consider this. Everyone who works for you has worked hard to achieve their role. If you do what you can to make your employees’ lives easier, they will (in most cases) reward you with loyalty, motivation, and excellence. Measures you take to create an environment where people want to come to work go a long way toward improved well-being and reducing stress and burnout. In other words, these policies support people’s vitality.

Create an environment where people want to come to work

One of the best ways to create an environment where people want to come to work is allowing Flexible Work Arrangements, also known as flex time. Nothing tells your employees, “We care about you,” better than flex time, and this is a primary way to retain your high performers.

Nobody wants to miss work for appointments and errands, but they are a fact of life. Working people need to go to doctors, the DMV, their children’s schools, and many are taking care of ailing relatives. With flex time, they are not required to use PTO for these life events. When people miss work for personal issues, nobody wins. The work doesn’t get done and employees often feel drained of their vitality because missing work to go to the doctor (for example) can become a burden. Whether it is because they get behind in their work or because they use up all their PTO, it is a hardship for no reason.

How flex time can be implemented depends greatly on your industry and the types of job responsibilities your employees have. But it is indisputable that flex time is a highly valued benefit by employees who do not want their jobs to dictate their lives.

Flexible time is based on trust

While it is understandable why employers prefer for everyone to work so-called standard hours, there are many advantages to extending flex time to your workforce. Flex time could allow someone to work a split shift or work from home on a day they had a doctor’s appointment, for example, instead of having to take the entire day off. Extending this flexibility is based on trust, which is a core value we, at EXCN, hold in high esteem. We are big believers that hiring the right people and assuming positive intent are key aspects of effective leadership. There is no question that the success of flex time is based on having a trustworthy team who will rise to the occasion. Here is one of the many Leadership Effectiveness tips we have written about trust: Leadership Effectiveness: Cycle of Trust —Assume Positive Intent.

Different ways of practicing flex time

These are four ideas to ponder. If none seems possible for your industry, scroll down to Further Reading for more information.

  1. Allowing work-from-home makes it much easier to work a 40-hour week. Many people love their jobs and would be grateful to be able to work from home, whether it is once in a while to accommodate appointments or regularly, to accommodate unique life circumstances. Not every job has this kind of flexibility, but many do, which we found out when it suddenly became necessary for people to work from home at the start of the pandemic. Now that people know they can work from home, it is advantageous for employers to continue to offer this benefit. A policy that allows people to work alternative hours from home as needed is a highly coveted benefit – and is becoming the new normal.
  2. Ten-hour days/4-day work week. If your workforce is capable of working ten-hour days, a four-day work week is a great attraction.
  3. 32-hour work week. The expectation is that the reduction in hours will result in workers compressing their workday. In the same way people find a way to get all their work done on a holiday weekend, by applying those same efficiencies every day, every week could end with a 3-day weekend.
  4. 9 hours every day, with every other Friday off. This is a schedule that works well in certain types of companies. Check state laws that may apply to employees working more than 8 hours in a day.

We recommend that you do not let lack of trust or concern about how to implement these policies deter you from considering Flexible Work Arrangements for your company. Companies that offer this level of trust and flexibility are known to attract and retain top talent.

What type of flexible work arrangements (flex time) would be most appropriate for your industry and your employees?

Further reading:

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