Ignoring flexible work could spark top talent exodus

Employers must adapt their HR policies to reflect the changing lifestyle and
social traits of modern staff, or risk being left behind.

Stan Fraser, vice-president international, compensation and benefits at
PepsiCo, speaking at Richmond Events’ HR Forum, warned HR departments that the
social structure, lifestyle and expectations of staff was rapidly changing.

"There’s a changing attitude to work and people are thinking very
carefully how they can fit their work around their lifestyle, rather than the
other way around," he said. "This is leading to a huge change in the
employment relationship."

In the 1990s, the average person had three employers in their lifetime, but
by 2005 this is predicted to rise to more than eight – so companies will have
to try harder to retain the best people.

Fraser identified flexible working hours as one of the main factors in
attracting and retaining the best people in the modern employment market.

"This is putting a huge strain on loyalty so employers must think about
how they can adapt to this. People are thinking about reward in a much more
holistic way. Choice and flexibility are the key tools," he explained.

"Employers that allow more flexible working will see less attrition,
but HR departments that don’t customise policies to reflect the changes in
society will see attrition rise."

He told delegates that productivity had risen since allowing staff to ‘flex’
their working hours.

After carrying out research with its own staff, PepsiCo has introduced
several internal websites and tried to improve the employment experience within
the company.

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