Only Online - USGlass August 2006
Flexibility is Key to Employee Happiness
There are many specific benefits or programs that a company can offer: money, insurance, etc., but we propose that the key to an employee's happiness boils down to one attribute that will make the internal customers (employees) feel valued in whatever job they're doing.
The key is flexibility; top to bottom. Employees (and customers and vendors) will remain content at their job when they are offered flexibility concerning their work life and in fulfilling their needs and desires. Consider these examples:
An example of inflexibility would be when a company puts company policies in place to address the worst abusers and only ends up penalizing the majority of loyal employees.
Flexibility in our daily routine also leads to a more gratifying experience for our employees and customers and, when it comes full circle, it is more enjoyable for our employees to work for a company that understands that each internal and external customer has diverse goals in life and different reasons that motivate each of us. One person may feel more valued with a good raise while another is much more content with a flextime schedule. In being flexible, we are reinforcing our belief that our employees are the most critical factor to the success of the organization and they must be treated as individuals so that they will remain productive, satisfied employees. By remaining flexible with your employees you are giving them control of their situation, which is what we all really desire in the end. (This does not mean that you have to offer undue autonomy, it just reinforces to them that they are partners in their professional destiny.)
Bob Carlson, Laura Basara and Nadiya Netrebov are the president and chief executive officer, director of sales and marketing and OEM sales manager respectively for LAMATEK Inc. based in West Deptford, N.J.
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