Flexibility is the Key to a Productive Workforce!
One buzzword became widespread after the economic downturn of 2008: downsizing. Redundancies meant that employees were asked to do the same amount of work as before, but with fewer colleagues. Because of this, employees with specific soft skills became even more vital to the employer.
Arguably, soft skills became more important than any technical skill or qualification. One we value today more than ever before is flexibility. Some employees may lack the initiative or confidence to learn new skills and become flexible in their work. That’s why there is a virtual solution to encourage employee development.
The unbending employee
Have you heard any of the following statements in your workplace?
- That’s not my job / That’s above my pay grade
- Nobody has ever shown me how to do that
- I can’t help him / her as I don’t know anything about that job
Aside from being frustrating to hear, comments like this are indicative of an inflexible workplace. The employees themselves may not be at fault. They could be stubborn or merely lack confidence in their work skills. Usually, they have spent years cornering one task and never learned (or been asked to learn) anything else. Such lack of flexibility costs your business money and productivity – and contributes to workplace stress.
The importance of flexibility in business
“A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” – Unknown
The benefits of a flexible working environment cannot be overstated. They are as important, if not more so than academic qualifications. If an employee is sick, another employee will need to fill in for them. If somebody leaves, it may take a long time to find a replacement and train him or her. Flexibility at work means that others will have the experience and knowledge to help.
But working flexibility is not just for regular employees. In the fast-paced world of business, management and executives also need to be flexible in their roles. It is still a difficult time for the economy. Many businesses still do not employ the number of employees they had before 2008. Therefore, flexibility could conceivably be on top of the pile of soft skills when it comes to business success. Some companies still feel there is not enough flexibility in the workplace, but there is a solution…
Bookboon’s eLibrary: Develop the soft skills of your workforce
For many employees, inflexibility may simply be a lack of confidence in work skills. Concerns about stepping out of one’s comfort zone and making a mistake are very real fears. Nobody wants to look stupid or incompetent. It’s important that everybody understands the necessity to work together and each other’s roles so that they can fill in for each other. Flexibility is good for the long-term future of your business and it’s good for team morale and cohesion.
Bookboon offers a comprehensive eLibrary Service with a wide range of eBooks that help your employees develop working skills to become more flexible.