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Flexibility: The Way Forward For Performance Management Systems

Life Balance concept with young woman.

What can organ­i­sa­tions do to allow for greater flex­i­bil­i­ty in the work­place? Could per­for­mance man­age­ment process­es play a part?

Organ­i­sa­tions wish­ing to max­imise effi­cien­cy, pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and per­for­mance should look to flex­i­ble work­ing in the years to come. It has been shown that flex­i­bil­i­ty with­in a job role has a num­ber of ben­e­fits. It makes your com­pa­ny more attrac­tive to prospec­tive employ­ees and is a great way to retain indi­vid­u­als with chal­leng­ing home-life demands. Impor­tant­ly, the offer of flex­i­ble work­ing also shows that you trust your work­force to per­form their job with­out strin­gent, old-fash­ioned enforcements.

Mil­len­ni­als, who are now the nation’s largest gen­er­a­tion in the work­force, are demand­ing flex­i­ble work in order to achieve greater work-life bal­ance. In fact, a Mil­len­ni­al Brand­ing report shows that 45% of Gen­er­a­tion Y would choose increased work­place flex­i­bil­i­ty over increased pay. Anoth­er study shows a pos­i­tive cor­re­la­tion between flex­i­bil­i­ty and increased pro­duc­tiv­i­ty. This appears to be the way of the future, so for­ward-think­ing com­pa­nies should act now or risk being out­per­formed by their com­peti­tors. But how can per­for­mance man­age­ment sys­tems real­is­ti­cal­ly go about intro­duc­ing flex­i­bil­i­ty into their every­day processes?

Allow employ­ees to set their own goals

Flex­i­bil­i­ty can eas­i­ly be imple­ment­ed into goal set­ting. Rather than assign­ing employ­ees tasks and goals, the set­ting of SMART objec­tives should be a col­lab­o­ra­tive one, with the employ­ee in the dri­ving seat. They know their lim­i­ta­tions and strengths, so they are in the best posi­tion to guide the process.

Giv­ing employ­ees the abil­i­ty to decide their own goals grants them a degree of free­dom over their own career paths that will moti­vate and encour­age them. We are far more dri­ven to accom­plish goals we set our­selves. Man­agers should always be on hand to push employ­ees when nec­es­sary, but if your organ­i­sa­tion is look­ing to imple­ment flex­i­ble work­ing, goal set­ting is a great place to start.

Con­sid­er remote work­ing options

If employ­ees do not need to have a phys­i­cal pres­ence in the office in order to car­ry out their role effi­cient­ly, con­sid­er imple­ment­ing remote work­ing. Accord­ing to a 2015 sur­vey, sev­en mil­lion Brits work from home and there are a num­ber of sources to sup­port the asser­tion that remote work­ers are more pro­duc­tive.

If you are con­cerned your employ­ees won’t adapt well to home work­ing, per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware can be used to track progress, ensur­ing assign­ments are car­ried out on time and to stan­dard. Qual­i­ty soft­ware also allows for greater com­mu­ni­ca­tion and real-time feed­back. Giv­en that employ­ees with a long com­mute are less pro­duc­tive than those with lit­tle or no com­mute, the intro­duc­tion of telecom­mut­ing might be a wise per­for­mance man­age­ment deci­sion. If you decide to go down this route, remem­ber the impor­tance of reg­u­lar, pro­duc­tive employ­ee communication.

Intro­duce flexi-time as a work­ing option

It is becom­ing clear that the tra­di­tion­al work­ing hours of 9am — 5pm are dying out. Rather than fight­ing this, use it to your advan­tage. Not every­one has the same pro­duc­tiv­i­ty rhythms. Some work bet­ter in the morn­ing, while oth­ers feel a surge of inspi­ra­tion lat­er in the evening. Some employ­ees will also be affect­ed by exter­nal fac­tors such as fam­i­ly oblig­a­tions. Keep­ing this in mind and allow­ing employ­ees to decide their own hours, with­in rea­son, is an opti­mal way of loos­en­ing the reigns at work, while encour­ag­ing strong performance.

Shift the focus onto results

Com­pa­nies such as LinkedIn, Ever­note and Net­flix are pio­neers in their approach to work­place flex­i­bil­i­ty. These com­pa­nies all make use of a con­cept known as unlim­it­ed hol­i­days”, where organ­i­sa­tions don’t keep track of employ­ee days off. Work­ers don’t have a max­i­mum num­ber of hol­i­days they can utilise in a year, which might sound like a rad­i­cal con­cept, but the idea works due to the fact that they have switched to a results-only work envi­ron­ment. Employ­ees are required to reg­u­lar­ly check in with their man­agers to ensure they are per­form­ing well and that they are hit­ting tar­gets. In this way, organ­i­sa­tions are focus­ing on what real­ly mat­ters: gen­uine results, rather than a phys­i­cal pres­ence in the office.

Job shar­ing

For a vari­ety of rea­sons, some work­ers are unable to adhere to con­ven­tion­al office hours. Some might have press­ing fam­i­ly com­mit­ments, while oth­ers have med­ical con­di­tions that lim­it the amount of hours they can work. Rather than los­ing promis­ing employ­ees, per­for­mance man­age­ment sys­tems can con­sid­er the prospect of job shar­ing. Job shar­ing has been referred to as the secret to work-life bal­ance’ by some and it is a great alter­na­tive for work­ing moth­ers, who have been shown to be high achiev­ers and an under­val­ued resource in the world of work.

To find out how Clear Review can trans­form the effec­tive­ness of your per­for­mance man­age­ment sys­tem, use our online book­ing form to get your per­son­al demo now.