The Shriver Report – The Modern Workplace
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Special Edition

The Modern Workplace

10 Tips That Make It Work Better

1. Organize regular group meetings with managers and employees

Carve out time in a non-work environment, where employees and company leadership feel safe to listen to each other express concerns, ideas, and innovations, contributing to a responsive, supportive and transparent workplace environment.

2. Partner with employees

The diversity of today’s workforce means not everyone wants nor needs the same things. Whenever possible, partner with employees to find solutions that allow them to customize their workplace experience in ways that work for the company as well. For example, allowing employees to choose their own hours within a set range can provide the flexibility that employees desire while simultaneously providing the company with coverage for a broader range of hours.

3. Create a mentorship program

Mentorships benefit both the mentor and the mentee: Seasoned veterans share life advice, company knowledge and critical workplace skills with new hires while younger workers can teach their mentors how to take advantage of today’s new technology.

4. Get connected to the global and virtual workplace

With technology ever-evolving, a wide range of options allow employees to work from somewhere other than the office. Telecommuting benefits both employer and employee: The federal government saved more than $150 million over the five snow closures in December 2009 and February 2010 by allowing workers to continue their work from home.

5. Encourage job sharing and predictable, flexible work schedules

Giving employees the option of switching shifts and jobs allows workers to restructure their day to create a better work-life balance without letting their workload slip and the company suffer.

6. Generate transparency in the workplace

Transparency should be present throughout all company levels – from the receptionist to the CEO – in order to successfully promote an environment of workplace security and openness. For example, direct your human resources department to talk about what resources are available to men, single women, and lower income families, such as the EITC tax credit and paid family and medical leave. See www.weconnect.net.

7. Evaluate employees based on what they produce rather than the number of hours they work

Fostering a “results-only work environment” (ROWE) allows widespread worker flexibility because it tracks worker productivity as opposed to logging the number of working hours. Employees can work anytime and anywhere, just so long as they get their work done.

8. Offer a phased-retirement program

A phased-retirement program allows participants to pass along client advice and corporate knowledge while slowly making the transition to retirement, thus ensuring that the next generation keeps the company’s long-lasting relationships intact.

9. Work with employees to map out their own careers, expectations and goals

Mapping out individual careers allows workers to examine how career and family demands shift over time, giving workers and managers a better understanding of how maintaining a successful work-life balance positively affects overall worker engagement and career satisfaction.

10. Encourage workers to get involved in community service

Bringing people together to serve others and support social causes builds camaraderie around a common goal and set of values that can strengthen performance teams at work. *These 10 Tips are the product of research conducted by Deloitte LLP, The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything, Work-Life Balance and the Economics of Workplace Flexibility, a report by the President’s Council of Economic Advisors released on March 31, 2010 at the White House Forum on Workplace Flexibility, and our own experiences and conversations at The Women’s Conference, the nation’s premier forum for women. For more information visit www.womenconference.org.