We all know that employees are the most valuable asset of a company – and thus it is very important to keep them happy and get their commitment and loyalty. For the last few years, the management style has been evolving towards a more flexible model that can adapt better to the needs of each employee while at the same time focusing on the best of the company; thus increasing efficiency and effectiveness, at the same time reducing employees´ turnover.
The old management model that unfortunately still exists in various companies consists of a strict schedule where employees are evaluated more according to whether they comply with the schedule more than the objectives that are assigned to them.
On the other side, the new management style, or what I like to call ¨Flex Management¨, is focused more towards the accomplishments of objectives. The manager of today should know how to trust his employees, give them their freedom, but at the same time be able to do all the follow up with them and provide them with the necessary guidance and support.
The flexible management style consists in developing techniques oriented to the needs of the employees and strategies to organize better the workforce. It is not necessary that employees are present in the office from 9:00 to 17:00 especially when they can work from home or anywhere else. Those new strategies are oriented towards being more flexible taking advantage of the new technologies that allow us to be in many places at the same time.
Many big companies today allow their employees not to show up in the office on Fridays (as long as they are connected) and allow mothers to work more hours from home, etc. All this flexibility comes from the theory that the happier the employees, the more flexible and loyal to the company. Of course many jobs by nature do not allow this flexibility, however when possible it is better to apply it.
The theory behind ¨Flex Management¨ comes from the fact that nowadays success is not only measured by salary and status, it depends as well of the personal and family relationship. It doesn´t matter if you have a three digit salary and you drive a Ferrari if you fail on the social and family side; people will view you more pathetic than successful. Another point is that the boss of the 21st century should not only be smart, but human as well. A boss is expected to treat fairly his employees and apply management techniques that are in tune with his employees’ needs and personal situations. Most of you might think that this is an obvious statement, but even though slavery ended long time ago, another type of ¨slavery¨ has been applied in the workplace- indirectly forcing employees to work long hours not to lose their job.
Of course flexibility should be applied up to some point, the manager is expected to track his employees work, provide constant feedback and support, encourage team work, and be available whenever needed. One way to do it is to keep weekly progress reports, and set clear and reasonable objective.
So be trendy, and practice the ¨Flex Management¨
And you, what do you think?