Why Employee Flexibility Is Paramount to Employee Retention

Feb 22, 2017 - Joe Matar
Why are employers so obsessed with employee retention? According to PayScale’s 2016 Compensation Best Practices Report (CBPR), employee retention is a top concern among the majority of employers; 57 percent of employers answered retention was a “top” or “high” concern, which is up approximately 125 percent since 2009. Is the number of resignation letters received from top talent causing employers to become frantic over retaining employees? Are the best employees quitting so fast that employers are forced to spend more money on recruiting efforts? Your employee retention strategy isn’t the problem or the solution. Yes—your employee retention strategies may have reduced employee turnover. But are keeping employees at your company the main reason you went into business? Probably not. You want to grow your company and add value in your industry. Instead of relying on your “one size fits all” retention strategy, shift your focus to employee flexibility. Employee flexibility will allow employees to feel like they have a stake in the company’s results because they had the opportunity to make decisions about their work style preferences, strengths, and needs to contribute to the bottom line.

Why Employee Flexibility Matters

Recruiting & HR People leave or deliver substandard performance when they are not happy in the workplace. If you want to increase satisfaction, you have to choose people over programs. Take time out to understand the melting pot of personalities that are contributing to your bottom line and find out how a flexible work style can create a more inclusive environment. What you will find is that the needs of your employees may differ for males vs. females, introverts vs. extroverts, baby boomers vs. millennials, and so on. Dissect your employee population to find out the trending needs that exist. Then, empower your employees to create win-win situations for them and the company. Here is how employee flexibility should be prioritized over employee retention:

1. Know Your Employees

No two employees are created the same. Getting to know who your employees really are should be a daily management strategy in order to avoid employees unexpectedly abandoning ship. The best employee flexibility arrangements will work to understand if there are certain things in the workplace that can impede the progress of employees. For example, is a noisy work environment causing your introverted employee to become distracted? Does your female employee need to leave at 4 to pick up her 5-year-old from school? These are small fixes that can be managed just through awareness. Giving the employees the flexibility to decide how they can work through these situations will allow you to get the most out of your employee without the dissatisfaction.

2. Avoid Unnecessary Expenses   

Smart companies invest money into retention strategies to avoid spending more money on top talent recruitment. The smartest companies create retention strategies that consider the needs of their diverse employee base. Develop a strategy that allows you to get the most bang for your buck. Survey your employees to ensure that the strategies that are used to support retention actually align with the current needs of your workforce. Once you understand the needs of your workforce, find out the time and dollars that you have to allocate to make that happen. Keep your employees updated on your progress. When you don’t follow-up and show employees that you are moving in the right direction, they stop providing feedback, causing you to spend more money on finding new ways to motivate them. Employee flexibility takes the needs of the individuals in your workforce into consideration and allows you to include employees in the decision-making process. Schedule a meeting with your staff and let them know the budget dollars available and have them help you determine the best way to allocate funds, thus avoiding unnecessary time, money, and energy on strategies that don’t satisfy your business’s main goal. The last thing you want to do is invest funds to obtain food for your employees when they would rather use their lunch break to increase their fitbit steps outdoors and pick up their daily cranberry almond spinach salad.

3. Create Profitable Partnerships instead of Competition with Your Employees

Nobody wants to be a prisoner to their cube. Everyone wants to feel that they are a part of something greater. Working in a rigid structure is not the best way to operate for everyone. It stifles ideas and limits growth. It causes fear and promotes conformity. Entrepreneurship is a growing trend among dissatisfied employees. Why? They feel that they will reap more fulfillment by establishing a healthier business culture on their own terms.  You can curb that desire by giving employees the flexibility to decide the best ways for them to produce optimal results. When employees feel good and produce their best work, they are most likely going to tell others about the company. Say goodbye to expensive recruiting strategies. Your employees will do it for you. And we all know that word of mouth recruiting is the best type of recruiting that a company can invest in. In this digital world, information travels faster than your marathon ambitious employees and this is the type of information that you want broadcasted to millions of people. Give your employees flexibility and you will never have to worry about retention again. After being the first Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to win the title of Ms. Corporate America 2015 in a pageant held in Orlando, Fl, Charlene Rhinehart created the Career Goddess Academy. She is a keynote speaker, freelance writer, and workplace solutions expert. Connect with Charlene on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Facebook.