As Talent War Heats Up, Construction, Manufacturing Companies Lead New Interest in Flexible Work
PARK RIDGE, IL Shawmut Design and Construction is rolling out an innovative flexible work initiative. The effort aims to reinvent employee-scheduling practices across the organization, in both the office and field environments.
Shawmut is leading a new trend among construction and manufacturing firms, which are reexamining traditional workplace practices, according to Kyra Cavanaugh, President of Life Meets Work, a consulting firm that helps companies improve employee retention and engagement. Life Meets Work guided Shawmut through program and policy development and will be providing ongoing manager training and support.
"Flexible work is already established in office environments like accounting and finance," said Cavanaugh. "Now industrial leaders are starting to do the hard work of updating and redesigning their workplace practices. Shawmut recognized the need early and is positioning itself ahead of its peers."
As evidence of the growing interest in flexible work in non-office work environments, Life Meets Work is representing several other multi-national manufacturing companies. These organizations are working toward flexible work in the office environment as well as greater opportunities for shift swapping, self-scheduling, and smaller PTO increments in production.
"We have teams who are already working flexibly at Shawmut and those leaders are helping mentor others and model the way," said Les Hiscoe, Shawmut CEO. "As a whole, the leadership team understands this effort is about continuous improvement and innovation. By investing in our people and culture, we ultimately invest in client service."
"Flexible work looks different and means different things for hourly construction and production teams, but the crux of the issue is that organizations need to find ways to give employees more control over their schedules," said Cavanaugh. "Talent management is more effective when workplace scheduling practices integrate with the reality of employees' lives."