Affinis Takes Home When Work Works AwardPosted on Wednesday, June 28th, 2017 by Peggy Amor
In Accolades, Culture, tagged in
Affinis has had a flexible work environment since opening its doors 16 years ago. With that in mind, it comes as no surprise we received our second, When Work Works Award, which was created to celebrate companies who provide flexibility.
Today, our president, Rick Worrel and manager of recruiting and retention, Cindy Martens, are sharing their thoughts on flexible work schedules and why they’ve become an integral part of Affinis’s culture.
How did you integrate flexibility into the workplace?
Cindy: With a supervisor’s approval, co-workers can set their start and stop times, provided they don’t interfere with their team being able to get their work done. We allow co-workers to leave during the day to attend family appointments/events.
Rick: Our flexible work environment has evolved over the last decade or so. In 2001, we started with an alternative work schedule option that included working nine, 9-hour days and getting every other Friday off. This was well received until a good portion of the staff realized they were still coming into the office on their off Friday, so we decided to make some changes. Our current flexible work environment includes the opportunity for a co-worker to vary his or her start and end time for a work day. We have this type of schedule in place to accommodate parents’ pick-up and drop-off of children at daycares or school. Or, some co-workers try to avoid rush hour traffic by adjusting their start/end time. Our flexible work environment also accommodates co-workers dealing with personal illness or caring for a sick child or aging parent.
Why do you think it’s important?
Cindy: When co-workers aren’t feeling the stress and strain of family while at work, they’re generally more productive. By focusing on the work that gets done and not on the hours it’s being done, we end up with higher quality work and happier co-workers.
Rick: I think it helps recruiting and retention. But, perhaps in more direct terms, I think it is the right thing to do. Our mission is to build long-lasting relationships with co-workers by knowing their needs and fulfilling their expectations. I heard more than 20 years ago the need for a few co-workers to work remotely. We carried that philosophy with us to Affinis. We continue to hear about co-workers’ needs to be parents and caregivers.
How have these practices benefited Affinis as a company?
Cindy: It helps us hire outstanding co-workers who have good work/life balance. Outstanding people appreciate being respected for what they can contribute to our business, as well as their family, and our community. Focusing on all three enables us to hire co-workers who are committed to doing their best and going the extra mile.
Rick: Over our 16 years, finding skilled and reliable employees has been and continues to be very competitive. I think our flexible environment gives us an advantage in recruiting. I also believe it creates co-worker loyalty, which enhances retention. Our culture encourages an environment of selflessly serving others. I think our work environment is an outward growth of that philosophy.
How do you think your program helps co-workers succeed?
Cindy: It relieves frustration for co-workers when they’re faced with having to balance work and family matters. This, in turn, means they’re able to do their work more effectively.
Rick: One of my recent “ah-ha” moments occurred during our strategic planning. Though our core values and general business philosophy remain unchanged, we have enhanced those by realizing Affinis is about moving communities forward. One of those communities is our co-workers. Because we are a community, we enable co-workers to have a sense of place and to take ownership in their work and the decisions they make. We have a culture of trust.