Rising Above the Tide to Create Solutions that Work (PART I)

Originally published by Employer Alliance

By Cheryl Liew-Chng, CEO of Lifeworkz

There is no denying that organizations have become more and more complex over the last decade, facing increasingly diverse cultures and dealing with issues of gender and generational diversity from the talent pool, on the one hand, to their business environment, on the other. Corporate cultures are becoming more volatile and uncertain in a global society which increasingly calls for companies to be agile and amazingly responsive. How do contemporary organizations rise to the new level of expectation? What can leaders do for the way forward?

Smart contemporary organizations thrive by designing their people strategies through understanding:

  •  The Work-Life expectations and values of their new workforce; and
  •   Leveraging strategic Work-Life strategies that are effective and which embrace creative and productive ways to engage a diverse talent group.

A recent report by Douglas LaBier, “Why the Workplace is So Destructive to So Many People” spells out many of the ills in the workplace that negatively impact the workforce, such as dis-engagement, burnout, and high levels of distrust. Almost all of these issues can be mitigated – if not eliminated – by embracing strategic Work-Life principles, especially including flexibility.

So how, exactly, can we leverage Work-Life strategies and flexibility to create a more dynamic workplace – one that engages across all of the cultures, gender and generations that we have on our teams?

Here is one strategy that works:

Embed success of Work-Life strategies as a joint responsibility.

Enabling your talented workforce to navigate Work-Life issues. One organization we had the privilege to work with recently has more than sufficient provisions in terms of hardware (VPN, Notebooks and video-conferencing facilities) and yet there were not make takes for their telecommuting program.

Upon further investigation, we realized that despite the good intentions, their employees do not know how to access this flexibility – and they were not empowered with the ability to take joint responsibility for a successful telecommuting partnership. So no one wins despite al the investments put forth to design the programme.

The Solution: We advised the client to communicate clearly and consistently on different platforms, ensuring that all employees understand the values and framework of telecommuting and how to access the core flexibility through a combination of training, based on our “Navigating Work-Life” Online Programme, and semi-annual live workshops to empower employees to be partners in creating Work-Life solutions that succeed on every level.

Part Two of this article will be published on Oct 24, 2013. 

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