Benefits and Compensation

Want Happier Workers? Consider Flextime.

Yesterday, we revealed tips on how to organize flextime (even when every employee has to be physically on-site every day) courtesy of Megan Lee, SPHR, SHRM-SCP. Today, we present more about Lee’s program—as well as the extraordinary results she achieved.

Lee, who is the director of human resources at Architecture Technology Corporation (ATC), offered her tips at the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) Talent Management Conference and Exhibition, held recently in San Diego.

[Go here for Steps 1 and 2]

3. Policy/Handbook Changes

ATC evaluated its current procedures/policies:

  • Of those that did not allow flextime, which were negotiable?
  • Is there truly a business need for these nonflexible policies?
  • What could be added to increase flexibility?

ATC made the following changes:

  • Added paid time off instead of traditional sick/vacation
  • Added an extended leave bank (ELB)
    • Each employee gets 40 hours in the bank
    • Has no cash value
    • Used with FMLA events
  • Added paid paternity leave
  • Added bereavement pay
    • Employees get 3 consecutive days off in the event of an immediate family member’s death
    • Employees get 1 day off in the event of a secondary family member’s death
  • Added commitment to continuing education. We encourage employees to attend classes and conferences that are relative to their jobs. We pay for:
    • PMP certification and recertification
    • Enterprise Architecture certification and recertification
    • Six Sigma Training
    • SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP Continuing Education
  • Added work-flex policy
    • No more mandatory 8 hours per day.
    • All of our employees are hourly.
    • 40-in-5 rule (must work 40 hours and log some hours all 5 days).
    • Employees set their own hours.
    • Teams work around employees’ hours.
    • Employees establish with supervisors a set arrival time (if later than that, call—it’s a safety thing).
    • Average manager works 45 hours.

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4. Implementation

Lee offers the following tips for the implementation phase:

  • Survey employees—what do they really want?
  • Understand what motivates management (you need management buy-in).
  • Why are you making this change?
  • Focus on positives, e.g., cost savings, more engagement.
  • Find a champion; major changes need a champion.
  • Be ready to articulate anticipated pros/cons of change.
  • Make a plan.
    • How will you implement?
    • Timeline.
    • What policies need to be changed/added?
    • What are the anticipated outcomes?
    • Start small; be patient. Perhaps pilot with one team or one division.
  • Have clearly defined expectations; insist on measurable outcomes.
  • Take ownership at every step.
  • Be flexible.
  • Rome was not built in a day.

ATC Work-Flex Outcomes

Lee shows very positive results for the ATC program. Enthusiasm is dramatically increased, and the feeling that it was hard to leave work for personal or family matters dropped substantially.

Additional indicators of the positive effect of flextime:

  • 93% would recommend ATC as an employer to a friend/colleague.
  • 2% voluntary turnover rate.
  • Revenues have increased.

In summary, says Lee, key takeaways are:

  • Have a plan.
  • Anticipate management’s objections.
  • Know what your nonnegotiables are.
  • Know when to stop pushing.
  • Rome wasn’t built in a day.

What is your work flextime mission?

Flextime is just one part of your compensation plan. Creating, maintaining, or updating a compensation plan can be tough. On the one hand, you don’t want to give too much. On the other hand, giving too little can create a poor work environment. Want to learn how to strike a balance? Start with this free guide from PayScale, PayScale’s Complete Guide to Compensation Plans.

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