Like most communities, Jan Roth, Vice President of Human Resources at Christian Living Communities in Colorado, is continually seeking low cost/high impact solutions to the challenge of recruiting and retaining employees in an extremely competitive marketplace. As part of a 3-year strategic initiative to reduce turnover, she surveyed 600 team members and learned that 95 percent said, “attractive schedules are a determining factor in staying with a job or applying for a job.”
CLC had a long history of offering compressed workweeks (3/12s, 4/10s) to nursing and housekeeping team members. However, what was surprising (and the lightbulb moment!) was the importance of flexible schedule options to leadership team members – Directors and above.
Armed with this information, Roth broadened her original program to allow “flex scheduling” to all members of the community -- and also advertised this option in job postings.
The document below outlines the program in detail, which is signed by each employee requesting an alternative schedule. The program has the following components:
- Managers are encouraged to consider flexible scheduling; however, employees must have good attendance and a proven performance record. In addition, the flexible work arrangement should not cause disruption to performance or service delivery.
- Schedule options include flextime (e.g., allowing flexibility in start and end times); compressed work schedules (e.g., allowing employees to work longer hours on fewer days); remote work arrangements (regular, occasional or for emergencies) and job shares. (not an all-inclusive list)
- Employees are informed of this option at various times during the year. If interested, the team member should initiate a meeting with their supervisor to discuss whether an alternative schedule is a workable option and if so, what it would look like. The team member and supervisor review and complete the “rules of the road” addendum and agree that the team member would be returned to a traditional schedule if the change did not work.
- While certified nursing assistants and housekeepers cannot work from home, the best schedule for most is to be assigned to the same work days/shift each week. This facilitates their ability to work a second job, attend school or avoid childcare expenses.
Factors for Success:
- Good communication between managers and employees
- Proven track records with employees
- Clear expectations
- Not a "one and done" deal– supervisor and employee must adapt to business and personal needs
- The program was low or no cost with a demonstrable impact on employees.
- Anecdotally, some unsolicited comments about alternative schedules include:
- “This is something I love about CLC…we are constantly ensuring employee satisfaction.”
- “This is a very important consideration. As a manager, I have been asking for more flexibility in my schedule. Being a single parent with three children...I have been asking to come in earlier and leave earlier.”
- “I work 4 10s and love it. Denver traffic is so bad and this works with my lifestyle.”