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Expert Wisdom in Launching Flex Programs

October 7, 2001
Even if legalities aren't an impediment, launching a flextime policy can bea major hurdle in companies that still measure loyalty through face time. Hereis some advice on how to launch a successful program that not only improvesmorale but also positively affects the bottom line:

  • Recognize that flextime isn'ta perk, it's a strategic tool. Employees who take advantage of Ernstand Young's flex program are "more loyal, dedicated, and motivated,"says Denny Marcel, a member of E&Y's Office for Retention.

  • Empower employees to craft flexiblesolutions. "When employees have a vested interest in planning theirschedules, they are more dogged in coming up with creative solutions,"says Marcel.

  • Expect employees to make a businesscase for going flextime. The focus can't be just on the individual,it should be on the client as well, says Ray Lewis, director of communicationsand manager of PricewaterhouseCoopers' At Home program. If the clients'needs will be served, a flex schedule is appropriate.

  • Give employees a formal structurefor planning and implementing a flexible schedule. A step-by-step processhelps them think through all the issues involved and foresee any obstacles,says Lewis.

  • Adopt a flex policy on a smallscale and measure the results. Pinpoint business problems that couldbe affected by flextime, such as reduction in overtime costs or improvedcall resolutions, then implement a program in one department and documentthe changes over a set time, says Jill Casner Lotto, vice president of theWork in America Institute, a national nonprofit organization based in Scarsdale,New York. Use the results to support a decision for a formal flex policythroughout the organization.

Workforce, October 2001, p. 64 -- SubscribeNow!