What do employees want? We at Families and Work Institute do the research to help you answer this key question.
Here are our top five hints. They want 1) work-life fit, even on factory floors, 2) advice on how to speak with managers about flexible work options, 3) help, particularly male employees, dealing with family caregiver responsibilities, 4) companies that create effective and flexible workplaces, and 5) employers who aren’t workflex virgins.
1. Work-Life Fit, Even on Factory Floors
Manufacturing employers of all sizes often face difficulties finding enough talent to take on factory jobs that are often rigid as far as scheduling because workers need to be onsite to make the products. That’s why smart companies are offering new and innovative ways to make these jobs more flexible.
How do you support the work-life needs of production employees and, in turn, keep turnover low and attract new talent? It can be done.
Workflex and Manufacturing Guide: More Than a Dream is your starting place for understanding what flexibility really means for manufacturers and how to help employees succeed both on and off the job. This guide—just released and available for free download now—describes the many types of flexibility that make sense for manufacturing and will help move the workflex conversation at your organization beyond just telework and individualized schedules.
Want to know more? Listen to the replay of the May 13 webcast, Manufacturing and Workflex. (Note: free registration is needed before listening.)
This Webcast will show you how with real-life examples from factory floors. We move beyond rehashing what doesn’t work in manufacturing and explore new ways of thinking about flexibility at work and how you can support your organization’s and employees’ goals given the unique realities of manufacturing workplaces.
2. Advice on How to Speak With Managers About Flexible Work Options
Employees can now take the promise of flexibility at work into their own hands. The Workflex Employee Toolkit offers workers a blueprint for making workflex a reality in their careers, and it provides a realistic perspective on what workflex options are possible for the companies that employ them. It features real-world advice and guidance from workplace experts including self-assessment tools, directions on how to ask for workflex and how-to’s on making it work once implemented. It’s a valuable workflex resource for every worker and manager striving for flexibility at work.
3. Help, Particularly Male Employees, Dealing With Family Caregiver Responsibilities
Images of an aging parent being cared for by a doting daughter are universal. But there’s more to the caregiving picture.
Although many see caregiving responsibilities as the domain of women, it turns out slightly more working men than working women provided some sort of elder care in the last five years, according to a study recently released by Families and Work Institute (FWI).
The Older Adult Caregiver Study, which provides a snapshot of the caregiving issues facing both working and non-working individuals, found that two-thirds (66%) of family caregivers reported being employed while providing care in the past five years; and, among those providing care, 51% were men and 49% were women. Overall, including those who are employed and unemployed, more women in the study (65%) provided care than men (56%), but the percentage of caregivers who are working is slightly more male in this study.
4. Companies That Create Effective and Flexible Workplaces
Smart employers aren’t sitting back and letting burnout, work-life conflict, the skills gap or a host of other workplace challenges impact their bottom lines. If this is your workplace, the best way to get the word out to employees is to become an employer of choice.
The When Work Works Award is one of the nation’s most prestigious workplace honors, recognizing employers who have created effective workplaces based on six components: autonomy; work-life fit; supervisor support for work success; satisfaction with earnings, benefits and opportunities for advancement; opportunities for learning; and a culture of trust. The Award—part of the When Work Works partnership between Families and Work Institute (FWI) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)—provides employers with national bragging rights along with media attention for effective work policies and practices as well as inclusion in an online database employees nationally can access to find out the best of the best employers. All applicants receive a free benchmarking report on workplace effectiveness and flexibility, based on their application, comparing their responses to other Award applicants, winners and nationally representative samples of employers.
The next round for the awards starts August 17, 2015. Click here for more information.
5. Employers Who Aren’t Workflex Virgins
There’s a lot of talk about creating flexible workplaces out there, but talking about flexibility isn’t the same as actually offering such options to employees. Even if you’ve got such policies on the books, employees who don’t see actual help with their work-life fit can end up less productive—or worse, end up leaving for another job.
Want to know how work-life friendly your workplace really is?
It comes down to whether you #workflex or not. Flexible work policies—everything from telecommuting to job sharing to part time to phased retirement to shift shifting, etc.—can set you apart from other employers.
The Workflex Assessment—based on the prestigious When Work Works Award—is a free online questionnaire that will let you know how you stack up. It takes about 15 minutes to do and you get your score immediately upon completion.