Flexible work practices now ‘a given’

Flexible work practices have moved from a ‘nice to have’ concept, to arrangements that are simply part of the furniture in modern workplaces – but have all sectors cottoned onto the expectations of workers?

Flexible work practices now ‘a given’

A new report has found that just one quarter of employers do not offer any flexible work arrangements for their employees – in 2013, it seems flexible work practices have moved from a ‘nice to have’ concept, to arrangements which are simply part of the furniture in modern workplaces.

Yet have all sectors cottoned on to the expectations of workers?

According to Andrew Cross, managing director at recruitment firm Ambition, in the technology sector some 50% of workplaces don’t offer employee benefits such as flexible hours – and it comes at a price. He warns that employers who still hesitate to move with the times risk an increased staff turnover and less productivity. “In a competitive market, getting employee benefits right and having a loyal team of experts on staff could be the difference between an organisation’s success and failure,” Cross commented.

While permitting more flexibility comes with a certain degree of risk for organisations and involves making changes to existing HR policies, there is no longer an alternative.

Recent research by RedBalloon and AltusQ narrowed down what employers should be concentrating their engagement efforts on, and what they should be moving away from.

According to the 2012 report, the core ingredients for engagement success are flexible working arrangements, recognition programs, non-cash rewards/incentives, training and development programs, paid parental leave and time off for study.

“These are the basics required to deliver on expectations and start to engage a workforce. They are the base of the pyramid, so if you don’t get them right, the whole structure will topple,” James Wright, RedBalloon’s corporate engagement specialist said.

Share your Employee Engagement Reality

Now in its third year, the RedBalloon and AltusQ Employee Engagement Capability Survey is open for submissions. The survey and resulting report seek to better understand and support organisations committed to expanding and transforming employee engagement.

This unique research study looks at 20 core competencies that contribute to delivering high levels of employee engagement, and identifies the specific barriers, knowledge and skills gaps in a business to direct the required actions to improve a workplace’s engagement reality.

Have your say before 28 February 2013 and go into the draw to win a $300 RedBalloon gift voucher and receive a free electronic copy of the report when it is released in April.

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