Flex For Me
Updated: Aug 31, 2022
With reliable Team Members at a premium, it is up to Leaders to determine how to best utilize those available. If you have completed the checklists available under our Resources tab, you have conducted an objective evaluation of the Organizations’ Team Members and scheduling versus workload. Now you must correlate the results to best serve not only the needs of the Organization, but to also enhance and encourage your Team.
There will be no absolute perfect outcome resulting from the evaluations and comparisons. These are simply a tool to assist Leaders in a better understanding of the Organization, the Team, and the needs of each. And as mentioned in post Evaluate Schmaluate, do not let these exercises intimidate you or your Team. Use the information as a foundational building block to move forward.
Look first at the obvious differences in workflow and/or business needs. Simple changes could be changing business hours to accommodate security or housekeeping staff, assigning staggered start and ending shift times to cover heavy volume, or preparing an alternate option to deliver relevant information to employees (rather than a standard attendance meeting).
Other changes may be more complex such as reassigning projects to different Team Members, upgrading remote access and relevant systems, and completely restructuring the Organizations schedule. Although some changes can be complex, these changes may not necessarily require large financial investments.
Most concerning to Organizations is an insufficient pool of candidates; and keep in mind that candidates can be current or potential Team Members. Not only are Organizations collecting very limited applicants for open positions, but current Team Members are leaving for other positions in record numbers. If you are experiencing lack of candidates or losing current Team Members, you may also want to consider what changes could make the Organization more desirable for future candidates.
You should now have all the relevant information to make necessary changes in within your Organization. At a minimum, you have identified shifts in business flow, prioritized any open and/or upcoming projects, and evaluated any available tools such as job descriptions and workflow charts. It is time to present your findings to the Team, but how can you be sure they will be responsive and open to these changes? What do the Team Members need from the Organization to make these alternatives a success?
For the Love of all things Holy - ASK YOUR TEAM WHAT THEY NEED. Open, honest, and functional communication is the best way for an Organization to not only present new ideas and information, but also to encourage Team Members to give their own input and suggestions. It is a common misconception that “employees” are only going to ask for pay increases. While financial compensation is an obvious motivator, Organizations need to look further into additional benefits that will enhance the Team Member experience on a personal and professional level. By recognizing unconventional needs of Team Members, Organizations can begin to modify their culture and initiate changes that will benefit both the Organization and the Team.
In early 2020, many Organizations were forced to alter their Team Members to a remote setting rather than the traditional office and 9-5 work. As of July 2021, only about one-third of Team Members have returned to a traditional office setting and schedule. Many Organizations are anticipating the implementation of a hybrid model of employment; one that allows a combination of remote and in-person work. This option can be beneficial for both parties, if the hybrid schedule model is discussed and agreed upon before the schedule is in effect. There are several obvious reasons for this: childcare, family scheduling, and life in general.
Does your Organization really, really want to attract and retain valuable Team Members? Discuss the findings of the evaluations with your Team, determine what the key needs of the Organization are, and openly discuss scheduling and workflow. By prioritizing projects and creating logical timelines, the Organization and Team Members can collectively determine a schedule that will fulfill the needs of the Organization and give the Team Members enough flexibility to fully commit to the Organization and career path. It is no longer feasible to expect exceptional Team Members to sign on for an unfulfilling daily routine that drains their psyche and extinguishes their spark.
If you are a service industry that depends on Team Members in specific time slots, your Organization is obviously not in a position for remote work. That does not mean you can’t utilize the evaluations to enhance scheduling and cover workload. Can you offer a set monthly schedule based on the shifts in workload? Can you utilize temporary employees to cover basic needs while you cross-train qualified Team Members to cover other positions? Is the department structure the most beneficial for scheduling? Again, ask your Team for suggestions and encourage them to take ownership of solutions that will create value within the Organization and allow them the flexibility they desire.