Workplace Flexibility: A Key Tactic For Employee Retention

managing millennials

In today’s candidate-driven job market, a company’s ability to retain top performers is key to long-term success. From offering more professional development opportunities to expanding benefits, there are many steps that an employer can take to improve their employee experience. To be successful, however, cultivating a positive work environment is one area you can’t skip out on. While this is applicable to all generations, this is especially critical for managing millennials—a generation that is placing a greater emphasis on work-life balance when making career decisions.

Due to technology, the “traditional” 9-5 work-day is quickly disappearing. With employees checking emails and doing work after hours, they are looking for ways to better manage their personal time and relationships. Believing that productivity shouldn’t be measured by hours in the office, but rather by results, they want to utilize technology to achieve greater flexibility in the workplace.

This is a trend that will only grow stronger as more millennials enter the workforce and begin having families. As a result, offering some element of flexible scheduling is a great strategy for better managing millennials and motivating them to stay with your organization in the long run. After all, this doesn’t just benefit the employee. Professionals who feel less stressed at home are often more productive at work and less likely to leave for an employer that is more willing to meet their needs.

While the flexibility you offer will differ depending on your organization’s needs and the level of trust you have built with the employee, here are some arrangements to consider:

Alternative scheduling: This type of schedule can either require an employee to be present for “core hours” (i.e. 10am-3pm) but adjust their start and stop times, or work outside of “core hours” as long as they fulfill all of their responsibilities.

Compressed work week: If an employee needs an additional day off a week to devote to personal responsibilities, this schedule allows them to work four ten-hour days.

Telecommuting: This allows employees to work from home (or wherever they feel most productive), as needed.

Considerate time off policies: Employees shouldn’t worry about missing out on a promotion or raise if they need to take a vacation or sick day for their overall well-being.

On + off-peak schedules:  If employees put in longer hours during a peak period, giving them a reduced schedule during a slower time of year is an excellent way to reward them. This works well for companies in industries that have busy seasons.

Freelance work: An increasing number of millennials are participating in the gig economy to advance their skills. Offering freelance or project-based work is a great way to engage with millennial talent, while offering them the flexibility they need for professional development.

Learn more about managing millennials with our eBook: The Millennial Workforce: 23 Tips For Motivating + Challenging Emerging Leaders

Check out our companion eBook on hiring millennials: The Millennial Workforce: 21 Tips for Identifying + Attracting A New Generation Of Talent