Flexibility is a very useful skill to hold, and it is applicable in most workplace environments. Being flexible is important for positions at all levels, however it is an especially important tool for leaders and managers, or for those aiming to progress up the structure of an organisation. As a leader or a manager, being flexible is a very useful tool, as it allows you to adapt your coaching style to perfectly suit the needs of your employees, in order to train them up in their roles effectively and to help them along their progression paths of their own. In this article, we will take a look at the five useful benefits of flexibility within the workplace.
In this article, we take an in depth look at flexibility and how it benefits the workplace. We explore why flexibility is important for leaders and managers within the workplace. Here are five useful benefits of flexibility within the workplace
What is flexibility?
Flexibility is being able to adapt your strategies and change direction quickly. By definition, it is the ability to adjust to short term change. For example, when you are presented with a problem at work that disrupts your regular working style, the skill of flexibility allows you to quickly adapt your approaches, and the problem doesn’t slow you down. It can be self-defeating if you are left stunned by a problem at work. By being flexible, you will immediately adapt to overcome the problem.
In the workplace, we develop habits and strategies that are useful for us on a daily basis. This means it is easy to fall into routines and establish patterns of work. However, as a leader, this usually results in becoming a disadvantage. There will be times when you need to adapt quickly. The needs of the business may change suddenly, there may be new team members joining, or the ownership of the business may change. These kind of situations will require you to adapt quickly to provide solutions and to continue to be effective as a leader in an evolving work environment. You must be able to evolve as a leader to suit the evolving nature of the organisation.
Five useful benefits of flexibility within the workplace
- Flexibility allows you to expect the unexpected
Flexibility allows you to work reactively to perfectly suit the needs of your organisation. In the workplace, unexpected situations will arise. In these events, it is tempting to rely upon our previous experience and handle situations in our own ways. Our first reaction is to fall back on our experience and knowledge, and we use this to approach the problem.
However to be effective as a leader, you need to be able to carry out your role within the business, meeting your expectations, but you must also be able to react to and overcome any unexpected issues that may arise. You must be open minded to new ideas and to trialing new approaches to your work. By being flexible, instead of being overwhelmed by the issue, you can discover new approaches and strategies to overcome the issue. It will also allow you to stay calm. When a problem arises, it can be anxiety inducing. We feel the pressure to provide a solution in a timely manner, in a perceived effort to limit any damage caused by the issue. By adopting a flexible approach, you will not be as phased by the issue. You will take the emotions out of the situation, stay calm, and quickly adapt to a new approach; thinking creatively how to solve the problem.
- Flexibility improves your productivity
Everyone likes processes, especially within leadership roles. Most of us have reoccurring tasks in the workplace, and we fall into regular processes to complete them. This is a productive way to work, however it doesn’t account for quick projects. Sometimes, short notice yet rewarding projects will arise. Sometimes it is worth prioritizing these projects and pursuing them, even if it means trialing new strategies and ideas.
Being flexible also allows you to be open minded to new ideas. When we rely on our own experiences and skills for our roles, we get a familiar understanding with what works. This can have a limiting effect on trying new ideas. However, in the pursuit of further productivity and improvement, trying new ideas is vital. Therefore, by adopting a more flexible approach to work, you will become more open to trying new ideas, and will find more further ways to increase your productivity at work. Flexibility also improves your communication, creativity, productivity and engagement, leading to increased productivity.
- Flexibility improves organizational culture
As a leader, by becoming promoting a flexible approach to working within your organization you will show your employees that you trust them and that you care for their best interests. If your employees feel that they have earned your trust, it increases employee loyalty to the organisation. This is very beneficial to an organisation, as staff retention is vital to an organisation.
Popular ways to promote flexible working options within your organisation are by offering home working if it is possible. This doesn’t have to be permanently, but it can be implemented when employees have family commitments or appointments. This showing of consideration towards the employee will encourage employee loyalty and increase staff retention.
- Being flexible is the new way of working
In order to future proof your organisation, adopting a flexible approach to working is essential. As the workforce evolves, and more and more younger members of staff enter the organisation, they will find a flexible working environment more appealing and more suited to their own working styles. Therefore, evolving your organisation to suit a more flexible workforce is essential to attract younger members of staff.
Your organisation needs to adapt and meet younger employees’ flexible working expectations in order for it to evolve and to continue being successful in the future. The 18 – 27 age demographic brings very different expectations to the workplace. Therefore, as this demographic is expected to make up 50% of the workplace this needs to be a consideration if you want to future proof your organisation.
- Flexibility allows staff to feel more independent, leading to job satisfaction
A flexible management style encourages you to give your staff more independence in managing their own projects, and in researching new systems and processes. As a leader, this management style places more trust in your employees, as it shows that you are relying on them for their expertise. It also stimulates higher job satisfaction within your organisation, as your staff feel more autonomous and less micro-managed. This will further improve staff retention within your organisation.
Your employees will find their jobs more rewarding if given the freedom to take leadership in their projects. The future of organisations is to give employees more control over their work. This will also encourage promoting within your organisation and preparing your staff for their own progression paths, creating a culture of learning and development within your organisation.
Book a course with us
Flexibility is an effective management and leadership skill that builds trust between you and your colleagues, and it empowers you to work creatively, resolve issues, and build trust within your team and organisation.
We offer a variety of courses, such as coaching courses, in which you can learn more about flexibility and other management skills to improve your organisation. To find out more about our courses, visit our Courses page and click on the relevant course. Alternatively, or if you’d like more information before booking, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, send us a message using the form on our Contact page or call us on 0161 826 3139. We look forward to hearing from you and advising you on the right course for you.
Author: In Professional Development