Flexibility is all we really want….

We have heard it all before. Employees want flexibility.

Pure and simple.

Whether it is in the form of a part-time role, job sharing, flexible hours or add-on benefits like salary sacrifice, employees want the ability to live life outside of their working day. No matter which age group you are in, we all yearn for flexibility.

The problem is that many employers are not in tune with market forces, they tend see their staff as a number rather than a person with a family, or someone with outside interests.

So how can employers develop what their employees want? Simple really. Talk to your staff. Understand that their needs are differing and varied and develop job roles around them.

Employers that do this will reap the benefits of loyal and happy staff.

The fact is that Baby Boomers still run most of the Supply Chain and Logistics industry and their work ethic and ethos differs from that of the younger generations.

While Baby Boomers are more likely to be consumed by their job and work 60-70 hour weeks the same is not necessarily true of X and Y generations who generally seek greater work life balance.

This is not to say that that X and Y gen don’t have a strong work ethic, it is just they tend to aspire to greater diversity and aspire to a wider range of non work related activities.

So what can employers do?

Working parents

Working mums and dads of any generation would like to work for a company that offers flexible working hours so that they can still take their children to school in the morning and pick them up at night.

They would also like to be able to take days off work if their children are sick, without being made to feel guilty by their boss.

In utopia every company in Australia would have a kindergarten in the same building.

Job Sharing

There are many experienced and highly qualified child rearing parents out there who are looking to work part-time or in a job sharing role.

Companies that offer job-sharing programs are more likely to attract this group and encourage them to return to the workforce.

Younger generation Younger generations tend to favour flexibility, variety and diversity in their job roles. They seek the ability to learn, grow and change jobs throughout their careers.

They tend to enjoy the option for example to be able to take off around the world for a year and know that they will be welcomed back to the company upon their return.

X and Y gen tend also to be looking for clear guidance as to what is expected of them, how it will be measured and then recognising their success through acknowledgement and promotion.

Promotion however does not necessarily mean a new job tile and office.

For many companies it mostly entails giving project leadership to employees as their knowledge and experience grows.

Project focussed work also helps to maintain excitement, achievement and learning in an employee.

Flexible Salary Packages

Offering employees flexible salary packages can be a significant incentive to attraction / retention.

Ensuring that base salaries match market rates is essential in a competitive employment environment but being innovative can often make difference between retaining or losing existing staff and attracting or failing to secure targeted recruits.

Increasingly common innovations include providing above market superannuation, variations on vehicle allowances, medical benefits / funds etc.

Bonuses and Remuneration Saying thank you for a job well done should be the norm for all businesses today and bonuses are one method which is successful and attractive for employees.

If you do not recognise effort in the form of pay, you will still loose that perfect candidate to a better offer. Paying below market rate will always see you struggling to attract and retain staff.

Paying completion bonuses for projects delivered ahead of time and under budget, allowing for one-off bonuses on completion of work related education can be beneficial.

Undertaking salary reviews before you are forced into a counter-offer can go a long way to retaining the illusive skilled, educated and loyal employee.

Companies who implement job share options, travel leave, study leave, will often achieve higher retention rates. Employees will no longer feel as though their employment and position in the company is threatened.

A flexible working environment will create loyalty and retention.

Start developing a new strategy today and you will be surprised at the benefits.

Prepared by global recruitment specialist Logistics Recruitment Solutions.

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