Search Results: “6 Ways to Promote Work Flexibility Culture Change”

6 Ways to Promote Work Flexibility Culture Change

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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?

If you haven’t already, I invite you to connect with me on Twitter @caliyost!

Are We Our Own Worst Enemy? Redefining Success — Subtle Prestige

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The story in Lisa Belkin’s Life’s Work column in Sunday’s New York Times about the late Eugene O’Kelly, chairman of KPMG hit a nerve with me. During my vacation, I struggled to honor my pledge not to work at all. That experience forced me to revisit the question that I come back to often: How much of our work+life fit conflict is our own doing? In other words, are we often our own worst enemy when it comes to setting (or rather not setting) boundaries around our work and life? It’s an important question if we hope to effectively combine work and life in the 21st century. Because the answer will require more actively managing the expectations and pressures we put on ourselves everyday.

Mr. O’Kelly’s story in Lisa Belkin’s column exemplifies perfectly how a company can do everything to help employees achieve “balance,” but unless an individual’s personal definition of success and expectations change, it will have no effect. Perhaps, until it’s too late. She talks about Mr. O’Kelly’s book called, Chasing Daylight: How My Forthcoming Death Transformed My Life published after his death. He was the chairman and chief executive of KPMG, one of the country’s largest accounting firms, when he learned last May that he had an inoperable brain tumor.