Employees Want Flexible
But Does Your Business Need Structure?
by Talmar Anderson
When building our teams, I hear from my clients that they want to offer the flexibility of schedule. They want to be competitive, build loyalty or think that employees will only want to join teams that offer work life balance and “support” employees that want to have it all. Please be aware that if you are hiring with a promise that “we will work around your scheduling needs”…well, you will either be closing up shop or have a crazy stressed out and overwhelming life as the owner of this business. Can you identify? Then here’s more to consider.
Do you know anyone that has had an employee that is a great assistant and asked for the flexibility to work around the caseloads for a Master’s Degree? Each semester they both determine the exact timing of the work schedule that will support the company’s needs and the employee’s class or project load. Even if that is not inconvenient or less than supportive of the company and business owner, you need to understand their loyalty will eventually shift even though you bent over backwards for them. A graduate with a Master’s in Psychology is unlikely to want to continue on as your right hand man after said achievement. They are building toward advancement in their personal and professional life. And THAT is OK. If you want to hire young and ambitious people then it is time to understand that they are each likely to hit a spot where “more” means more than your company.
The key is to consider the impact on you and your business with each change or benefit of flexibility you offer. Don’t bend over to keep an expensive or overly educated or growth oriented employee if your company neither has the need nor honestly the means! If you need someone consistently available for calls because high touch availability is one of your core offerings, the business owner “filling in” should not even be on the table. You hired for a reason and knew that your business was better served by having call availability staffed regularly.
Decide what your business needs before you give up the farm. Seriously…No one is going look after your company like you should. And while employees are the piece that will bring you success…not everyone is going to be the right employee for what your business needs right now.
There is definitely more than one person that can do the job. They will all do it a little differently but there is someone else that can get it done within a set time fame, with specific results while ensuring that quality is on target. Certain business models will not be able to achieve this consistently if you are letting your staff work when they want and how they want.
You do not need to keep them at all costs. In fact, here is some news for some of you. The employees you hire now are VERY unlikely to all be on staff 5 years from now! If they are able to meet your company’s needs for 2-5 years…That is great and successful. That is business and professional growth. And that is what you want!