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Kim Shepherd Talks Flexibility in the Workplace with SHRM’s HR Magazine

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Decision Toolbox CEO Kim Shepherd recently spoke with SHRM’s HR Magazine about flexibility in the workplace, and how our well-meaning policies could be causing the opposite of what we intend to do for employees.

Excerpt from the article:

Making speeches at staff meetings about work/life balance isn’t enough. Nor is offering workers amorphous “flexibility” and then leaving it up to them to decide how much time they will take for vacation or what hours they will spend at the office vs. working from home.

Instead, HR must now be as vigilant about making sure people are taking time off as they once were about enforcing that people put in enough hours. “That’s the trick,” says Kim Shepherd, CEO of Irvine, Calif.-based recruitment firm Decision Toolbox. “If you hire a [Type A] player and give them the latitude to design their own workday, they will create stress.” That’s why HR and managers must help rein people in. “It means putting some of the burden on yourself,” she adds.

Because stressed-out workers are ultimately not as effective on the job, companies should hammer out a strategy—with specifics—for helping people relax. It might include the following steps: Establish a clear standard—and stick to it. Make sure workers know that “flexibility” doesn’t include having to work during their paid time off. At Decision Toolbox, the mantra about checking e-mail on vacation is “If you’re wired, you’re fired,” Shepherd says. Results and productivity are what matter—and a company won’t achieve either if it doesn’t allow people to take breaks.

Read the full article here.

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