Adaptability and Flexibility in the Workplace
The modern workplace is anything but static. With more and more people telecommuting, the average 40-hour workweek has become closer to 60 hours. Furthermore, job descriptions and responsibilities are constantly evolving as new technologies allow us to do everything from banking on our phones to reading books online through electronic devises. In addition, the global economy has changed the nature of work with outsourcing leading to new demands for employees.
These recent developments have created a generation of workers who are more adaptable and flexible than any previous generation. And while it is true that staff members need to be more versatile today, companies also need to ensure that their staffs are “future ready.” The first step for employers is to understand the role that each employee plays in business operations.
Getting employees onboard with change.
Companies should start by giving all staff members an opportunity to be part of the process of change. Once this has been achieved, upper management should then create a plan that focuses on the ‘what’ and the ‘step by step process’ that needs to take place for change to happen.
Other important steps include ensuring that employees feel empowered enough to ask questions without fear of reprisal; planning discussions with staff members in advance to avoid problems; and creating a safe environment for employees to discuss their concerns.
The key here is making sure that staff members feel heard before final decisions are made. The future of your business depends on it!
What is Adaptability and Flexibility?
Adaptability and flexibility is the capacity of a system to absorb change. As outlined by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), employees who are adaptable and flexible:
– can work with new or different people;
– thrive in an environment of continuous change;
– see challenges as opportunities; and,
– are eager to try new methods.
The Benefits of Adaptability and Flexibility in the Workplace.
Adaptability and flexibility offers three key benefits to business:
1) Increases productivity;
2) Reduces turnover; and,
3) Backs up organizational change initiatives.
How Training Can Increase Productivity.
Training promotes adaptability and flexibility. In the workplace, training is often used as a key tool to ensure that staff members remain up to date on new technologies and procedures. But it also serves another important function: training increases productivity.
As outlined in a research brief by the American Society for Training and Development, employees who undertake job-related training are more productive than those who do not. This is particularly important when you consider the changing nature of work today.
As an employer, finding ways to increase your staff’s productivity will help ensure that your business is competitive in both the short term and long term.
What Is Turnover? Why Are Staff Retention Rates Important?
According to findings by Elance, an online staffing service provider, high turnover rates are the single biggest challenge that companies face. Research indicates that it costs on average $15,000 to replace each staff member who leaves.
Businesses also lose profits due to turnover. This is particularly important in today’s climate where most businesses are operating with low profit margins. Higher staff retention rates translate into more profits.
One of the best ways to reduce turnover rates is by making sure that your staff members are adaptable and flexible. As outlined above, employees who are able to work with new people and technologies will be less likely to leave their jobs in search of greener pastures. And that’s something that every employer can benefit from.
How Can Training Contribute to Better Staff Retention?
By increasing staff members’ adaptability and flexibility, you are ensuring that they will be less likely to leave your company in search of greener pastures. As outlined above, employers who understand the importance of training are able to increase their workforce’s productivity which can help boost profits.
The key here is making sure that your employees are content with their work environment. As noted by HBR, the best managers focus on building strengths instead of focusing on weaknesses. This ensures that staff members feel empowered and encouraged to perform at their peak levels.
Keeping costs down is also important. According to staffing industry experts, high turnover rates are often a result of inadequate compensation. Ensure that salary levels are competitive within your industry to prevent staff members from jumping ship for greener pastures.
Train Staff Members on the Benefits of Flexibility and Teamwork
As outlined by The Balance Small Business, one of the major benefits of training is improved teamwork. By encouraging employees to work together towards a common goal, you are creating a more positive and productive work environment.
Teaching staff members about the benefits of flexibility can also improve morale. As outlined by FlexJobs , flexible working arrangements not only reduce attrition rates but they have been found to increase productivity levels as well as job satisfaction.
Increasing your staff members’ productivity can help to reduce turnover rates. By encouraging employees to work with new technologies, stay up to date with industry trends, and undertake training courses, you are increasing their ability to adapt in the workplace.