Improving employer-employee relationship is a continuous process whereby both parties look at better exchanges of what each gives to the other. The concerns of an employer may be summed up as one word – Productivity. The employees look for a better remuneration of the services rendered to the company. Mark Hughes in Change Management concluded that in recent years, change has come to the forefront of management thinking because it is seen as an integral part of how companies survive and grow in competitive markets.
(Hughes, 2006). Flexible working is not a new concept. The idea was hatched in the late 1990’s as HR programs were geared towards employee retention and sustenance of employee’s motivation. There is no statistical data that qualifies and quantifies the beneficial effect of the program However, for want of better methods of handling employees’ concerns, flexible working is espoused, conceptualized for the workplace, and implemented properly.
The array of benefits that may comprise the flexible benefits agreement between employer and employee should be looked at as a privilege which may be withdrawn anytime as management may sit free. As CIPD proposes, many things cause organizational change and these include growth, globalization, changes in strategies, advancement in technology,
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Sustaining motivation of employees and continuously raising their productivity are the pillars of a good HR program. It is in this context that flexible working is viewed and proposed for serious consideration by any HR practitioner. DISCUSSION Flexible working is a system of working condition or remuneration that an employer offers to the employees for mutual gains. It is a system that has been advanced and offered to the corporate world to promote work life balance while retaining employees.
Flexible working practices as cited by CIPI, includes areas such as part-time working, term-time working, job-sharing, flexitime, compressed hours, annual hours, working from home on a regular basis, mobile working, teleworking, and career breaks (Flexible Working: The implementation challenge. October 2005). The rationale behind this new trend is two-pronged. For the employer, flexible working attracts potential good hires while retaining the best of its pool of employees. On the employee’s side, flexible working is an opportunity for personal growth and career development.
Personal growth comes in the form of a new system of remuneration whereby employees are given the choice to select from an array of benefits as pay-off for the work he has done in the company. On the other hand, flexible working is an opportunity of career development as the employee is given flexibility in work schedules that suits his needs. Thus, the employee would still have the chance to pursue other aspects of his career life – whether to render work elsewhere or to pursue another degree in education.