Our client, the professional services firm BDO, recently produced a short video about their award-winning approach to work and life flexibility. Here are the six lessons every organization can takeaway from the clip to help better position flexible work as part of the culture, or the way the business and people operate every day:
Lesson 1: Language matters. BDO Flex is a “strategy.” It’s about getting work done, serving clients, and managing people. It’s not a program or policy. There are policies to support various aspects of the strategy (e.g. compensation, telework equipment) but “flexibility” itself is not a policy. There are programs that use BDO Flex, but “flexibility” is not a program.
Lesson 2: The employee AND the business must succeed for flexibility to work. All of the stories and key themes in the video reinforce the point of “dual” benefit and impact:
- ReThink–The possibilities are endless
- ReFresh–You work hard. Use Flex to recharge
- ReDefine–Don’t accept business as usual
- ReDiscover–Don’t lose sight of your dreams
- ReAssure–Small changes can make a big impact
Lesson 3: Take the time and invest the resources to create a shared vision of success that anchors the strategy. It took months for the firm to create the “BDO Thrives on Flexibility” vision statement, but that process changed hearts and minds and created a shared understanding which moved the culture.
Lesson 4: Flexibility is not just about formal flexible work arrangements. It’s about both formal and informal, day-to-day flexibility in how, when and where you work and manage your life. It’s not an “arrangement,” but a well thought out plan tailored to meet your unique needs and the needs of the business.
Lesson 5: Men and women want and use work flexibility. Work flexibility is not a women’s issue. It’s a strategy to help all people fit the unique pieces of their lives together in a competitive, hectic, global economy and for businesses to work smarter and better.
Lesson 6: Flexibility is not about child care only. Yes, parents absolutely need to work flexibly; however, as the video shows so do employees who have spouses who relocate, who have a passion for ballroom dancing or cartoon drawing, and who want to stay healthy. And it’s for leaders who want to reduce the level of employee burnout and service clients better.
What other lessons did you learn from watching how one organization is talking about and positioning strategic flexibility in their business? What is your organization doing?
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