According to the 2012 “A Briefing from Government Business Council Research Analysts“, workplace mobility benefits can improve both recruiting and employee retention.
Employee retention goals are an important factor in recruiting, hiring, and developing an engaged workforce. The effort and money spent on the front end to get good employees in the door is a waste if they don’t stay long to contribute to your company. The most successful recruiting practices have a focus on culture fit, candidate and employee engagement, so that not only are they hiring top candidates, they are also keeping them.
Benefits Include Attraction and Retention
Mobility refers to using technology to support work anywhere/anytime including telecommuting, telepresence and alternative work schedules. The top benefits of offering workplace mobility include employee attraction and retention. With the federal workforce aging and in need of recruiting with tight budgets, candidate attraction and employee retention are becoming more important than ever, and increased workplace flexibility and mobility will play bigger roles in recruiting.
The American Psychological Association reports that employees who telecommute experience more job satisfaction, less stress, more work-family balance, less desire to leave the company, and higher performance ratings. This translates to happier employees who stay longer when they have workplace mobility options, meaning increased employee retention.
Workplace Mobility Saves Money
Employers and employees alike can expect to save money with workplace mobility practices. Employees save money on commuting costs, including fuel, vehicle maintenance, and vehicle wear and tear, as well as saving money on business attire and travel time. Employers save money on overhead expenses including real estate, travel, utilities, and other in-office expenses when work is done virtually, and improved workforce productivity. This has been a factor in federal employment, especially since President Obama’s November 2011 order to reduce travel costs.
Mobility is One of the Top Ten Workplace Trends
PerkinsWill, a professional workplace design firm, reports in Workplace Trends 2012 that mobility is one of the top ten workplace trends contributing to high performance business practices. Other trends that contribute to recruiting and retention and are related to employment mobility include:
- Diverse work styles
- Spatial efficiency
- Work-life blending
- Brand building
- Recruitment and retention best practices
- Transition planning
Reasons Employers Offer Workforce Mobility
The 2013 Allied Workforce Mobility Survey found that the top reasons employers offer workforce mobility options such as telecommuting include work-life balance, to increase productivity, cost containment, and to accommodate maternity needs. The survey reports that workplace flexibility like flex hours, personal time off, and liberal vacation policies are more accepted by employers than telecommuting, and that only 35 percent of employers surveyed viewed telecommuting as a successful workforce practice in their companies.
Why Employee Retention Matters
Josh Bersin, founder of Bersin by Deloitte, explains the importance of employee retention in “Employee Retention Now a Big Issue: Why the Tide has Turned”. He says tenured employees drive greater value than newer employees and that the longer employees stay with a company, the more they appreciate in value to their employers through higher productivity, familiarity with systems and products, and ability to work collaboratively.
While there are high costs associated with turnover, Bersin shows that it costs even more to lose tenured employees than newer employees. That’s why high-performing companies have loyal employees, and serve their workforces the same ways they serve their customers. He discusses retention drivers such as job fit, career opportunities, and work environment, including workforce mobility options.
For employers competing for talent to grow their business in a tough economy and tight job market, improving employee retention can quickly become a matter of competitive advantage. Employees who want to stay in their jobs contributing to your company will help build your company culture and contribute good word of mouth through testimonials and referrals.
What’s your company experience with mobility policies? Do you find it’s a meaningful benefit to your workforce?
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