Flexibility Equals Productivity

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Employers like Ernst & Young say their retention rates are currently at historic highs because the company culture embraces flexibility for employees at all levels.

  • Approaching your boss. Before you knock on your boss's door, ask yourself honestly if your job performance is good enough to warrant this perk. These flexible benefits are accommodations, not entitlements. The stronger your performance, the better the chance of receiving such perks. If you've been a slacker, you can't walk in and say I want to work from home five days a week. It won't work.
  • Think of it as a business proposal. You have to present it in a way that's a win for your boss and for you. How will your department or company benefit from such a program? If high turnover is a problem, this could be a solution. If you're overstressed but great at your job, it behooves your manager to work this out instead of losing you.
  • Do your research. If similar companies in your field or location offer flexible benefits, present that as part of your proposal. If other companies offer these benefits, but yours doesn't, it can help you build your case.
  • Propose benchmarks. If your employer were to allow you to work from home or use hourly vacation or any of the other programs, how will the success of this benefit be measured?
  • Suggest a trial period. You're more likely to get a yes if you say let's try it for three months than if you ask for a permanent change.
  • And, of course, have confidence. Change can start with one person and one conversation, but only if you have the courage to speak up for yourself in a confident and persuasive way.

To connect directly with Tory Johnson or for other information on career advancement, visit www.womenforhire.com

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