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No more business as usual!

October 4, 2017

 

Being constrained by 9-5 working and being stuck at a desk all day no longer works for many. From reading many an article, it has become evident that employee freedom, flexibility and wellbeing should be at the forefront of the HR agenda.  

 

It appears that many companies fail to embrace their employees as individuals and simply stick to the 'one rule for everyone' rule. Yes, this provides a level of fairness and consistency to employees however, fairness and consistency can be achieved through embracing employees individual needs and creating loyalty and commitment in the process as well as aiding recruitment. How often has an employee had a family commitment that clashes with their job (school nativity plays etc), has a chronic illness, received some bad news at work or just needs some flexibility because their car has broken down? Whether it's coming in later each morning so that they can drop children off at school or implementing flexible working hours so that they can attend their children's nativity play or manage a long term illness, employers should embrace the different needs of their employees. Employees will recognise the level of trust and understanding from employers leading to more loyal and engaged employees. 

 

From my own experience as a HR practitioner as well as an employee, I believe that employers need to allow their employees more freedom and embrace them as individuals. With more and more individuals wanting to escape the 'career cage' and live life on their own terms, it is vital for employers to recognise wellbeing practices in order to retain their employees. Studies show that more and more people want a better work-life balance and with a mix of Baby Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y and now Gen Z starting to join the workplace, all with different work-life motivations, now is a key time for employers to look at the motivations of their employees, their flexible working and wellbeing policies and practices to ensure a suitable and well-rounded offering for all.

 

It appears that many companies fail to embrace their employees as individuals and simply stick to the 'one rule for everyone' rule. Yes, this provides a level of fairness and consistency to employees however, fairness and consistency can be achieved through embracing employees individual needs and creating loyalty and commitment in the process as well as aiding recruitment. 

 

How often has an employee had a family commitment that clashes with their job (school nativity plays etc), has a chronic illness, received some bad news at work or just needs some flexibility because their car has broken down? Whether it's coming in later each morning so that they can drop children off at school or implementing flexible working hours so that they can attend their children's nativity play or manage a long term illness, employers should embrace the different needs of their employees. Employees will recognise the level of trust and understanding from employers leading to more loyal and engaged employees. 

 

As we all know, Richard Branson has made many a headlines and none more so than HR related over the last few years. The introduction of his unlimited leave policy got the world talking - some people are advocates, others are completely against the idea, some don't understand how it can be implemented but one thing is clear - virgins careers inbox has never been fuller! Surely that tells us something about the motivations of employees (hopefully not only just that they all want lots of holidays!) Virgin has never undertaken business as usual and believe that the tried and tested route is not always the best path to success. Virgin offer a number of flexible working practices - working from home, unlimited leave, integrated technology as well as wellbeing in the workplace. They believe this is one of the reasons they attract and retain fantastic employees. Flexible working enables employees to find a better work life balance and in turn this means they are happier and more productive. Richard Branson himself has never worked from an office, preferring to combine working hard from home and spending time with his family. 

 

The key is treating your employees how you would like to be treated. The key to keeping all generations engaged is to harness their own individual motivations and needs - one size certainly doesn't fit all. 

 

 

 

 

 

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