Principle 2 Work-Life Balance and Career Development
Key Element A Flexibility Policies

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Many organizations experience disproportionately high turnover of female employees in part because of the absence of flexible work arrangements. Not only do organizations lose valuable talent, but they lose continuity in projects and client engagements and incur extensive costs when replacing these employees.

Flexible work policies include flexible scheduling (e.g., compressed work week, variable start and end times, reasonable amounts of leave without penalty, and ability to donate vacation time to other employees) and flexible work location (e.g., telecommuting, working off-site). The ability to take a temporary career break and then re-enter the workforce, also known as off-ramping and on-ramping, is also key to ensuring that organizations retain and effectively use top talent. According to the Harvard Business Review, some 58% of high-level female talent experience career interruptions that divert them from traditional linear career paths. These career interruptions penalize earning power and long-term promotional prospects, thereby causing many women to switch employers or leave the workforce altogether. In the "war for talent," organizations need to create a robust menu of on-ramps and embrace flexibility.

There are 8 indicators for this element.
Indicator 1

Assess employee needs and current use of flexible work options, noting employee demographics and their subsequent promotion and attrition rates.

Implementation level
Indicator 2

Create and promote a menu of flexible work options for employees focused on scheduling, location, leave, and workload that meet the needs of employees and the organization.

Implementation level
Indicator 3

Create and promote a menu of flexible work options for shift employees, including scheduling, job sharing, shift changes, and shift swapping that meets the needs of employees and the organization.

Implementation level
Indicator 4

Allow time-off from work for employees seeking medical care or treatment, for themselves or their dependents, including family planning, counseling, and reproductive healthcare.

Implementation level
Indicator 5

Offer temporary and extended leave programs. Help employees on temporary leave stay connected to encourage re-entry.

Implementation level
Indicator 6

Communicate support from senior management for flexible work options and encourage managers to disclose their flex time use to encourage employees to use flex time when needed.

Implementation level
Indicator 7

Establish and enforce a standardized written process for requesting and using flexible work options to ensure fairness throughout the organization.

Implementation level
Indicator 8

Train managers on how to effectively manage workers who are using flexible work options.

Implementation level

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