Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Performance v. Presence

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I don’t understand why some managers resist hiring talented people because they want some form of flex time. Or want to work from home. If you've already jumped on the flex bus, that’s the right thinking. Because in this economy (and forever more, most likely) you have to attract and keep talent in every way possible.

I challenge you to ask yourself, “am I more comfortable hiring someone I will see in the office every day, rather than managing a talented person who is “out of sight?

There are thousands of talented people who have stepped out of traditional jobs (often to raise a family, etc.) who are available only to work flex hours. If you evaluate them on performance rather than presence you can create an entirely new kind of team.

Let’s troubleshoot this:

If you do it, will everyone want a flexible schedule?

Maybe. And I encourage you to consider it. Which positions truly require an employee to be in the office every day from 9-5? Which do not? Maybe it would be better to have your office staffed 7am-7pm, with a staggered schedule.

How do I decide who gets a flexible schedule?

You could offer flex as an earned privilege; as long as performance meets expectations the high performers retain the privilege of the flex option; For those positions where flex time is not practical, employees can be offered the opportunity to earn a different privilege. Based on performance, of course.

What if it doesn’t work?

This is a great opportunity to create group buy-in for a highly desirable benefit. And incredibly, it's a big motivator that costs your company nothing. Yes, it has to be well managed, but no more so than traditional teams. And it’s great for morale because flex teams often perform better in order to protect and retain the privilege.

Before you begin, set specific expectations with the group as to how you will evaluate the success of the flex. Initiate an open discussion an let everyone weigh in. Fears, concerns, the right stuff and the wrong stuff.

C’mon. Give it a try. You just need to be flexible.



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