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Ben Jansen, CEO of Déhora and leading expert in the field of workforce planning, has been a keen proponent of flexibilisation for many years.
We asked him why flexibilisation is so important, and why organizations can't afford to ignore it any longer.
The Déhora Consultancy Group provides the expertise of Europe’s biggest full-service consultancy firm specialising in workforce planning and management.
Since 1987, we help organisations in all types of sectors to achieve an optimal alignment between people, resources, and time. Déhora does this by supporting organisations at an operational, tactical, and strategic level. In this way, we help organisations to maximise their business performance and results. As the leading experts in this field, we are also continually working on the development of innovative products and services that meet the future needs of the market.
Flexibilisation is all about making it possible for an organisation to adapt easily and continuously to changing circumstances. In other words, it makes your organisation agile and adaptable. There are all types of flexibilisation strategies nowadays; the art of course is to create the ideal balance between all the available resources at your disposal. And to make sure you have a strategy that is sustainable. Insiders call this ‘good flex’. In simple terms, this is when you have flexibility as an employer and also as an employee.
There is a well-known saying that the only constant in an organization is change. In any case, most businesses operate in a dynamic environment, with unpredictability and increasing complexity. This is the inevitable effect of globalisation, technologisation and individualisation.
It’s very simple. It is clear to me that many organisations simply won't survive if they are unable to keep up with the latest trends in the markets and with current low unemployment rates.
Flexibilisation could mean implementing some form of self-scheduling for employees or making it possible to choose from various part-time and / or full-time schedules instead of forcing them into one. Having more options available will make you a more attractive employer thus making it easier to bind actual and find new employees.
Choosing and implementing the right flexibility strategy takes knowledge and experience, especially there where improvement of “staff sustainability” is a serious requirement. Besides that, it is essential to choose a flexibility strategy that will support you in achieving the mission and goals of your organisation. At the same time, for optimal results, involvement, interests and wishes of the employees must be taken into proper consideration. If you don't, then your flexibilisation strategy will be doomed to fail.
I first got interested in flexibilisation 30 years ago. And to be honest, I still find it fascinating even today. Why? Well there are two main reasons. First of all, the multidisciplinary nature of flexibility makes it a very multifaceted subject. In other words, it is a broad subject that has an impact on just about every area of workforce organisation. Secondly, flexibilisation has become a critical issue in today's business world. It is an issue that affects both employers and employees in very significant ways. Especially if it isn't sustainable…