As we discussed last week, finding the right balance between the needs of the company and the unique personal needs of its employees is important. The ability to be flexible and adapt operations to an employees’ individual needs helps retain dedicated workers. When finding workers is difficult, such as it is now, employers may feel obligated more than ever to grant special requests from their workers in order to keep them.
However, being so flexible that “anything goes” puts the company at risk.
While being overly rigid with workplace policies can become stressful for all involved, too much flexibility can compromise standards of excellence and breed confusion.
Finding the right balance between the two is no easy task. How do you know when to stick to the rules and when to give a little to keep employees happy? How do you know if you’ve gone too far in one direction?
It helps to zoom out and look at the big picture. Here are some questions to ask:
Is there a feeling that employees are taking advantage of the system? If so, what evidence supports that feeling?
If protocols were followed precisely all the time, what would be gained? What would be lost?
When analyzing the problems facing the business, would any of them be resolved with a different approach to policies and procedures?
Do some employees stand out as hard workers while others stand out as slackers? What company-wide practices allow this to continue?
Careful consideration of these questions may help you determine if you, as a company leader, are being too flexible.
If you’re not sure where you land on this spectrum, consider giving us a call. Often an outside perspective helps you see things more clearly.
Next week when we’ll talk more about things you can do to right the balance between company needs and employee needs.
Image credit: Nathan Dumlao