Flexibility practices aren’t one-size-fits-all.
More and more organizations realize that employees’ work/life balance needs change throughout their careers. In order to address shifts in their people’s personal lives or career paths, best workplaces are tailoring their flexibility programs.
Whether it’s creating flexible working arrangements for new parents, part-time schedules for employees pursuing advanced degrees, or transitioning older employees into retirement, best workplaces support their people during all phases of their career journeys.
Best workplaces provide strong networks of support to assist their employees with their needs. For example, at one European company, teams of two to four parents work together to cover part-time shifts that allow them to meet both work and family responsibilities. Another company allows every employee the opportunity to apply for flexible working arrangements, whether it’s job sharing, reduced hours, sabbaticals, telecommuting, or compressed work weeks.
At Great Place to Work®United States’ recent annual conference in New Orleans, representatives from EY shared the company’s Career and Family Transitions coaching program. The program aims to support parents – both men and women, first-time parents and those with multiple children – navigate the transition from welcoming a new baby to getting back into work. Members of EY’s internal Executive Coaching team are on hand to help parents through both individual and group sessions. Recognizing that balancing work and family is not just a women’s issue, EY makes it a point to include fathers in the program. In fact, many dads are active members of the coaching program and nearly 100% of fathers take paternity leave.
Compromise and communication are essential elements in creating flexibility programs that will thrive. Best workplaces listen to their employees' needs, address them, and create space for everyone to have the flexibility they require. Ultimately, these organizations understand that focusing on work/life balance provides a better working environment for employees and increases retention.
Lexi Gibson is Strategic Communications Manager at Great Place to Work® global headquarters and Marketing Manager for Great Place to Work® UAE .