Bold ideas to make work work

by 06 Oct 2009

Eighty-one per cent of US employers are maintaining and 13 per cent increasing the flexibility they offer as a tool to manage their workforce through the recession.

Captured in the 2009 Guide to Bold New Ideas for Making Work Work, the Families and Work Institute (FWI) released 260 ways in which employers can manager their workforce in a down economy.

Some of the notable practices profiled in the guide include:

• Giving employees four Fridays off in the summer in lieu of raises the organisation cannot afford

• Providing employees with information to better manage their own finances

• Allowing employees to work at home one to two days a week to save on commuting costs in response to fluctuating gas prices

• Creating funds to support their own employees or others in the community who are suffering during the recession

• Giving employees the option to take unlimited, unpaid personal time off during the downturn, while keeping full medical benefits and the right to return to their jobs

• Allowing employees greater scheduling flexibility if their spouse has lost a job or seen their hours reduced and the family needs to make changes

• Creating flex-year and flex-career programs

• Creating workflow co-ordinators to monitor overwork and creating wellness scorecards to promote wellness

• Providing a coach for new parents

“In many ways, the recession has led increasing numbers of employers to improve their workplaces so that they work for the employer and the employees during these difficult times,” said Ellen Galinsky, president and co-founder of FWI.

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