Line managers stop resisting flexible work when they understand how the payoffs for them and their business far overweigh the price of working differently. But that only happens if they have a say, upfront and going forward.
You can write the best flexible work policy and offer people the most cutting-edge technology. You can have a CEO who publicly encourages the use of telework, flexible hours, compressed work schedules and reduced hours. But if line managers don't support it, your strategy will have limited success.
Line managers will embrace greater flexibility in how, when and where work is done if they are part of the change process. From the beginning:
- Ask them “how” a more flexible approach to work will benefit the business.
- Get their input on what it will mean for the way they manage and employees work day-to-day.
- Give them the communication, coordination and workflow management skills they will need to manage flexibility well.
- Train employees to partner with managers to create win-win flexible work solutions.
- Recognize that managers are people too, with lives outside of work that they care about.
Identify all of the key stakeholders, like line managers, who have to be involved in the strategy early and often in order to buy-in. This is critical to the successful implementation of strategic flexibility.
Check out: Flex Bootcamp for Individuals and Leaders under "Solutions". The formal flexibility "how to" strategies from Work+Life and the everyday work+life fit practice from TWEAK IT are presented in elearning, webinar and live learning formats.
Related Articles from FSG/WLF:
- How to Get Middle Managers to Support Flexible Work
- How to Move Past the Fear "If I Give Flexibility to You, Everyone Will Want It"
- How to Use the Manager Flexibility Buy-In Curve to Your Advantage
JOIN the "Make Flexibility Real" LinkedIn Group