Posted by: Professionals In Human Resources Association (PIHRA) | June 5, 2012

June 2012 PIHRA President’s Message

June 2012 PIHRA President’s Message
by Richard Propster, SPHR-CA

High among the topics of emerging importance to HR professionals is workplace flexibility.  It is rapidly morphing from a mere desirable for the employee to a necessity for the company seeking to be an employer of choice.

At a recent briefing on Capitol Hill, “Creating a 21st Century Workplace for a 21st Century Workforce,” it was noted that employers who cannot imagine work being done differently than the way it has been done in the past will more and more find themselves at a competitive disadvantage when seeking innovative and creative talent.

A 2010 global survey of nearly 500 executives by The Economist[1] found attracting, retaining and rewarding exceptional talent as the greatest HR challenge in the coming decade. According to an August 2010 survey by SHRM, workplace flexibility is the primary tactic for meeting that challenge.

Flexibility fosters a feeling of loyalty because workers see the employer as accommodating and supportive and even incremental flexibility, such as a slight adjustment to start and end times, can make a substantial difference to employees.  Companies that have implemented workplace flexibility programs report reductions in both absenteeism and turnover.

In that Generations X and Y are increasingly family-centric, the future will see more and more focus on flexible workplace options as a business imperative.  Sara Manzano-Diaz, director of the Women’s Bureau at the U.S. Department of Labor, put it succinctly, “This is an issue whose time has come. It’s good for workers; it’s good for businesses.”

PIHRA will increasingly focus on this topic moving forward and your comments, suggestions and input are welcome.


[1] Global firms in 2020: The next decade of change for organizations and workers.

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