Flex time: are your employees afraid to use it?

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Flexible working hours are the perk du jour and a particular favourite among millennials – but if your employees don’t feel comfortable taking advantage of the offer, there’ll be no effect on engagement and the entire initiative will be pointless.

So how do you prove to your team that flex-time isn’t just an empty promise and it really is okay to leave early? HR director Crystal Dunlop helped implement a successful strategy at accounting firm RLB LLB – here, she shares her insight with HRM.

Transparency

If you want your employees to feel comfortable using the flex time policy, you need to be completely transparent with clients and business contacts, says Dunlop.

“You still want to give your highest and best contribution to your clients but if a client wants to meet with someone and they’re on a three day week arrangement, there’s obviously going to be challenges,” she explains.

Encouraging your employees to be transparent about their working arrangements and communicate them clearly with clients will prevent many disappointments, says Dunlop.

Communicate

In the summer months, RLB operates on a four-day week and employees get Fridays off. Despite having the potential to cause problems with clients, Dunlop says the firm hasn’t received a single complaint and some business associates have even adopted the same policy within their own organizations.

Dunlop says their success was only possible thanks to complete transparency and clear communication.


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