Attracting and retaining key talent is probably the most important part of running a business – but it isn’t necessarily what you pay that will make you stand out from your competitors an hold on to your best talent.

As a leader, you want people to choose to be in your business, so creating the right culture and incentives is paramount. Often the right mind-set of an employee is more important than the skills they can offer.

In recent years I have seen businesses enjoy attracting and retaining people by ensuring that the working environment appeals to a new generation of employees. These employees seek out businesses that offer work-life balance and the flexible working practices that they want. In many cases, these individuals are willing to take quite a significant reduction in pay to have these benefits.

A large-scale panel study in Germany* studied the effects of three types of flexible working practices on employees’ work attitudes (job satisfaction and intention to leave the business). The study found that practices such as flexitime, sabbaticals and working from home all increased employee satisfaction. This is because they allow greater flexibility in determining the location and timing of their work, helping employees to increase their efficiency.

Further, sabbaticals and working from home also decreased employees’ intention to leave the business.

Flexible working practices have an overwhelmingly positive influence on employee’s attitudes and so organisations should try their best to incorporate these into their working environments.

To summarise the benefits of implementing FWPs into your business:

  • Job satisfaction is linked to performance and commitment to the organisation
  • FWPs lower an employee’s intent to leave, which in turn leads to lower costs of hiring and training new employees
  • FWPs not only lead to employee satisfaction but also to a person’s personal satisfaction. This helps employees convert positive non-work attitudes into work attitudes

What does your business do to enable work-life balance for its employees?

If you require any further advice or support in implementing Flexible Working policies and practices to improve your businesses performance, please get in touch. We’d be very happy to help!

*(Claudia Kroll & Stephan Nuesch, The International Journal of Human Resource Management, Volume 30, 2019 – issue9, pp 1505-1525)

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