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October 1, 2019
Want More Top Diverse Talent? Offer Flexible Work Arrangements
Alex Csedrik

The game “Twister” requires you to stretch in different positions to be the last person standing. It’s not the only place where having a limber nature will help you win, though. According to the Office of Disability Employment Policy, incorporating workplace flexibility is a key factor in creating a fully represented staff. 

Here’s why eschewing the rigidity of a traditional work schedule and office space benefits your company—and how that, in turn, attracts top diverse talent. 

Diverse Workers Want More Freedom With Their Hours

Flexible work arrangements may be the key to attracting—and hiring—more diverse candidates. Women, for example, value this more than men, per the Mercer 2019 Global Talent Trends report. One reason for this is familial responsibilities. And research suggests having a family can be a competitive differentiator in the workplace: According to The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, mothers outperform women without children overall throughout a 30-year career.

People with disabilities benefit from less restrictive working arrangements, too. Employees with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), for example, can benefit from working off-peak hours or remotely to reduce stress and prevent distractions. While no two people with ASD are alike, these sorts of accommodations can have a positive impact. And there’s no doubt that workers with disabilities are strong performers. The Society for Human Resource Management points out that this talent pool has nearly identical job performance ratings as their counterparts without disabilities.

This isn’t the only benefit of flexible work arrangements, though.    

Flexibility Can Drive Engagement—And Improve Productivity—Among Workers 

Your company needs to be adaptable to the changing times—and how today’s employees want to work. According to the Mercer report, the number one benefit that helps a staff thrive is the ability to manage their work-life balance. Allowing for either remote work or flexible schedules (for smaller companies that need all hands on deck) can provide this.

Tipping the scales in favor of your staff’s personal life actually benefits your company, too. According to Insights by Stanford Business, there is a 13 percent improvement in performance from people working at home compared to office workers due to increased concentration and less reason to arrive late/leave early. There’s also a 50 percent decrease in resignations when organizations offer this employee perk.

Remember, if you want a highly productive heterogeneous workforce, you need to act like a Twister champion and be flexible—with your staff’s work arrangements. You’ll attract and hire top talent, and they’ll want to stay at your organization longer, too. And that’s a win-win.

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