The Ultimate Agency: How Our Benefits Lead the Industry
Today’s workforce has a different set of needs and circumstances than ever before, and Rebecca Brooks maintains that it is important employers start to accommodate these demands. She covers Alter Agents’ approach to the shifting needs of its own employees and the success we’ve found with a more flexible and team-oriented mindset in a new article for HR.com’s Employee Benefits and Wellness Excellence Magazine.
In the article, she writes about how empowering employees with more control over their own work-life balance benefits everyone, both internally and externally. Some of the key concepts she discusses in the article that have helped our company achieve “The Ultimate Agency” include:
Unlimited Vacation. We don’t have to slowly and painfully accrue vacation hours to set aside for one annual trip to spend time with our families. It’s obvious that a sweeping change like unlimited vacation can come with a price, and that price is candor. The policy only works if everyone feels it is being upheld and people are being fair. As soon as there is a tiny hint of unfairness, we have to be willing to have candid, sometimes painful, talks with our team members to right the ship.
Teamwork. Every employee is responsible to their team. They must ensure that all team work is covered before taking time off, and clear an expected absence with their team members. We’ve found that this model keeps people from abusing the system. When you have to ask your peers for the time off and see upfront the burden that it puts on them, it is a natural barrier to minimize extreme vacationing.
Accountability. Because this model is so focused on teamwork, it helps hold each individual accountable. For example, if a team agreed to one of their members being away, then they have no excuse for a reduced staff when they are struggling to get work done. Everyone has accountability for their decisions. This has made our work environment actually more constructive and positive. Employees don’t whisper behind closed doors about unfair vacation policies, because they are actually the decision makers.
Communication. Everyone knows what’s going on, all the time.We have a small team so this may be easier for us than a larger agency or company. Simply posting detailed project updates on the wall of our conference room is one way we all stay on the same page and ensure we have our eye on the goal. Empowering employees with knowledge fosters goal-oriented work and gives everyone a stake in the company’s success. Larger companies have overcome some of these challenges through internal communications strategies, using both technology and face-to-face update meetings. I believe that open communication policies help an all-for-one, one-for-all culture where employees are ready at any moment to pitch in and work hard.
This thoughtful approach to employee empowerment has made our staff feel more fulfilled and energized for their work, inspiring heightened efficiency and engagement.
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