Flexible work schedules are no longer a perk or gimmick. If you want to attract millennials, you’ve got to accommodate their lifestyle and values. But that’s okay. There are far more pros than cons when you provide flexible work schedules for your employees. Regardless of which generation they belong to.
A Changing Workforce
At the risk of overgeneralization, let’s look at why Gen Y has such influence. For one thing, they have grown up. They have not only infiltrated every workplace, they are taking over. They are moving up the corporate ladder. They are starting their own companies and hiring more millennials. They are creating new technologies that spawn new industries.
It’s not just the sheer numbers. It’s the mindset. Millennials approach life differently than boomers. Especially the way their work and personal activities integrate. This has implications for employee work schedules. Millennials don’t go to work just for the paycheck. They want their work to support their life and vice versa.
What Does This Mean For Employers?
Employers who don’t address millennials’ expectations will run into staffing difficulties. Staffing difficulties inhibit business growth. A lack of qualified employees throws you into a downward spiral that could end in business failure. Unless you can employ robots, you can’t ignore this sizable demographic. They will comprise an increasingly larger percentage of the labor pool. Plus, you need their unique contributions.
What, Exactly, Is A Flexible Work Schedule?
Flexible work schedules look different depending on the industry and company culture. At a 24-hour manufacturer, the employees may choose among days, swings, and graveyards. One worker might choose swing shifts and another select day shifts. Depending on their personal needs.
In a healthcare facility, a nurse with a spouse who works 9-5 might opt for nights so the children always have a parent with them.
Call center managers might allow students to choose shorter shifts that fit their schedule.
In an elementary school, it might mean job sharing by two part-time teachers.
In construction, those who work overtime to finish a project may be given more flexible shifts when the project ends.
For many, telecommuting with complete schedule freedom is the Holy Grail. The number of industries with remote workers may surprise you. When you call customer service at your bank, your agent might be at their home office. Telemarketers often work remotely. Transcriptionists as well. Accountants and computer coders can often do their jobs outside of the main business office.
How Does Software Make Flexible Work Schedules Possible?
What’s the easiest way to provide flexible work schedules? Workforce management technology, of course. Cloud-based employee scheduling software is your answer for flex scheduling.
Workforce management software lets you create standard schedules in seconds. And flexible schedules in minutes. You create templates for each department, team, or location. You can also create templates for specific shifts or seasons. When the base schedules are in place, it’s easy to drag and drop employees into shifts.
Customize For Your Scheduling Needs
In addition to templates, scheduling software allows you to set rules. You can restrict employees from shifts they can’t work. Employee profiles ensure those with the necessary qualifications are scheduled. Designate hours thresholds to maintain part-time or full-time status. There are compliance settings for different types of Fair Work Week laws. You can also adapt to industry-specific regulations.
With rules in place, the system will alert you when you break them. Customization permits a high degree of complexity for flexible work schedules.
If you need to adjust the schedule after you post it, you won’t need to start all over. Flexible schedule software is leagues ahead of basic spreadsheet applications.
Millennials Prefer Complete Control and 24/7 Access
Another must-have feature is employee self-service. If your employees can’t check their schedule from their phone, forget about it. When your flexible scheduling system lives in the cloud, you can access it from any mobile device.
Millennials don’t consider this a novelty but de rigueur. They grew up with online self-service in every aspect of life. Self-service schedule portals put employees in control. They can view their schedule and changes in real time. They can request shift changes. They can bid on open shifts. They can communicate with managers and co-workers in a centralized forum.
Self-service workforce management systems allow employees access to additional Human Resources information. Time cards, accruals, tax forms, and company policy manuals are some of them. SwipeClock’s WorkforceHUB provides these plus benefits enrollment, employee engagement tools, and onboarding.
Flexible work schedules provide benefits for managers as well as employees. This is important. If millennials don’t fill your management positions currently, they will eventually. With advanced workforce management scheduling, they can be more efficient managers. Efficiency drives productivity. Flexible scheduling software can be a catalyst for business growth.
To learn more about implementing flexible work schedules, visit TimeSimplicity for flexible scheduling.
By Liz Strikwerda