Article from Greg Smith

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Flexible Work Arrangements Help Retain Good People
Gregory P. Smith

Balancing work and family has received a lot of attention over the years. There are several reasons for this. First, today’s workforce is increasingly diverse and demanding. Second, the workforce is shrinking.  There are not enough skilled workers to fill all the jobs.

In this country skilled workers have options. It is important not to force workers to choose between work and family.  Each year thousands of good people leave good jobs to take other positions that are more family friendly. This situation has fueled the dramatic rise of home-based and female-owned businesses. 

A one size fits all approach no longer works. Employers must either accommodate the needs of their people or be faced with constant turnover and unhappy employees.

The cost of turnover is much more expensive than people realize. In the U.S. it costs between $7-17K to replace an hourly employee, upwards to $40,000 to replace a manager, and even more to replace an executive. In spite of the staggering cost, the majority of businesses do not have a formal retention program.

What makes one person happy can be the very thing that displeases another. That is why organizations must pay specific attention to the various needs each person may have and expect. 

By creating a Flexible Work Arrangement (FWA), companies can keep good employees and not force them to sacrifice the diverse needs of their family life. An FWA will help them benefit personally and professionally, and the result will be people who are more loyal, committed, and productive.

FWAs offer options to employees who do not want or need a standard work schedule. A properly prepared FWA allows greater flexibility in balancing roles of work and home. It also can help prevent valuable employees from quitting and taking a less suitable position somewhere else. Most of the time a FWA involves fewer work hours and possibly a proportional reduction of pay and benefits.

A survey by Flexible Resources Inc. of more than 500 women seeking flexible work arrangements found 64 percent of them had either quit or were planning to quit due to the lack of work hour flexibility. What was alarming, 59 percent of these women never asked their employers to modify their work schedules because they assumed they would be denied or lose stature. Younger women are more assertive in seeking flexible work arrangements; 72 percent of women between the age of 25 and 35 were willing to request an FWA compared to only 30% of the women aged 36 to 45.

Among those who requested a Flexible Work Arrangement and were told “no,” reasons for the refusal ran the gamut in the following priority:

§       We can’t give it to you and not the others (52%)
§       You will not be available to others (48%)
§       We have never done it before (24%)
§       You won’t be as productive as when you work full time (8%)
§       Your job is not conducive to flexible hours (5%)
§       There is too much work to do (5%)
§       It wouldn’t fit into a team atmosphere (5%)

But FWA’s have drawbacks. People feel physical presence equals more opportunity for promotions and advancement. Men are particularly vulnerable to the stigma “if you are not at work full-time, you are not competitive.”

Several years ago Working Mother magazine recognized the innovative work/life programs provided by the Bank of America. Its "Child Care Plus" program pays eligible workers an additional amount of money each week per child for employees earning less than $30,000 a year. After learning turnover for participants was about half that of the peer group not participating, BofA expanded the program to include workers with family incomes of $60,000 and also began to allow workers two paid hours a week to work in their children’s schools. Finally, they added money for college. Bank of America gives $2,000 a year for employees enrolled in undergraduate classes and $4,000 for graduate study. As a result, they were able to reduce turnover by 50 percent.

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Greg Smith is a nationally recognized speaker, author, and business performance consultant. He has written numerous books including his latest, Here Today, Here Tomorrow: Transforming Your Workforce from High Turnover to High Retention. Greg has been featured on television programs such as Bloomberg News, PBS television, and in publications including Business Week, USA Today, Kiplinger’s, President and CEO, and the Christian Science Monitor. He is the President and "Captain of the Ship" of a management-consulting firm, Chart Your Course International, located in Atlanta, Georgia. Phone him at 770-860-9464. More articles available:

Gregory P. Smith
Chart Your Course International

"We show managers how to create high performance
organizations that attract, keep, and motivate their workforce"

Author of:
Here Today Here Tomorrow: How to Transform Your
Organization from High Turnover to High Retention

Phone: (770) 860-9464


Employee Retention Workshop

For Immediate Release

Contact Jan King

Growing Worker Shortages Becoming a Crisis
Seminar Addresses Strategies for Employee Retention

Atlanta, GA (January 9, 2007) The high unemployment rate and the growing
demand for skilled workers is creating a crisis for the majority of
employers across the United States. It is getting more difficult to find
and keep talented workers. As a result, organizations placing more
effort in creating better places to work to retain their employees.
Strategies enabling you to retain your best and brightest are available
at the upcoming workshop, Here Today, Here Tomorrow, being held in
Atlanta on January 18th. The one-day seminar sponsored by Chart Your
Course International and People Skills International will be held at the
World Trade Center Club at 303 Peachtree Street from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30

Greg Smith, president of Chart Your Course International and author of
Here Today, Here Tomorrow, says that “Unemployment is the lowest it has
been since 2000 and estimates show 48 to 65 percent of the workforce is
dissatisfied with their current employment situation and could leave for
better positions as the economic situation continues to improve. The
healthcare industry is most at risk. To keep their workforce intact,
employers need solid strategies for employee retention.”

The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Wall Street
Journal website recently completed the Job Recovery Survey. The key
findings revealed 64 percent of employees said they were extremely likely
to begin or increase the intensity of their job search. An additional 19
percent said they were somewhat likely to increase their search.

“U.S. businesses spend over $200 billion annually recruiting and
replacing employees,” says Karla Brandau, president of People Skills
International and authority in Culture Integrity. “It would make sense
for companies to reduce the money spent replacing employees by spending
the money to retain employees, thus reducing training time for new
employees. When good employees are retained, productivity and innovation
increase as you climb the ladder together rather than putting
productivity on hold as you step down a rung or two to get new employees
up to speed. By retaining your best and brightest, you will reduce
expenses while you make faster progress toward increased market share and
organizational effectiveness.”

Get free articles on employee retention and learn more about the coming
seminar at
Questions can be answered by calling Chart Your Course at 770-860-9464.


FW: Google Alert – worker shortage

Google Blogs Alert for: worker shortage

GO must resolve labour difficulties – Toronto Star
By Andrae Griffith(Andrae Griffith)
Adding to their post-holiday blues, GO Transit commuters heading to work on the The system has experienced worker-related slowdowns before, most notably Problems arise when there is a shortage of crews – people cannot be moved
Visions For The GTTA –

Illegal Aliens’ Impact On American Jobs – Part II
By One Old Vet
The mainstream media report ad nauseam that illegal aliens are doing work that Americans Besides a legitimate guest worker program for the seasonal agriculture Obviously, there could not have been a shortage but employers simply
One Old Vet –

A paucity of insight
While worker’s wages went up by an average of 50 percent during other economic ninnies we should be grateful we’re still allowed to work at all. there is a serious and harmful shortage of willing volunteers to fight in Iraq and
Norwegianity –

Labor Department Report – Skilled Worker Shortage Hurts Economy
Today’s Labor Department Report was another in the recent string of CRIES for the HR … tightness will be a problem for business at least into the next decade, … Give your organization a jumpstart on the competition and create your .
Business labor organization –

‘Head tax’ modern version
By Susanna Ng
Consultant for Maple Leaf found workers willing to pay $10000 to come to Canada WINNIPEG — Maple Leaf Foods has shut down its program to import workers from China partly because of the widespread labour shortage in Western Canada.
Chinese in Vancouver –

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FW: New comment on FW: [Chart Your Course International] FW: [Chart Your Course International] FW: New comment on FW: Google Alert – employee turnover


Gregory P. Smith
Chart Your Course International
Phone(770) 860-9464


From: Anonymous []
Sent: Tuesday, January 02, 2007 6:18 AM
Subject: New comment on FW: [Chart Your Course International] FW: [Chart Your Course International] FW: New comment on FW: Google Alert – employee turnover

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