Book, Webcast Highlight Business Imperative of Effective and Flexible Workplaces

Mar 29, 2011

More than 400 employers share real-world examples for making work work

Alexandria, Va., March 29, 2011 — Following the announcement last month of the unprecedented partnership designed to help organizations be more successful by transforming the way businesses view and adopt flexible workplace practices, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Families and Work Institute (FWI) are releasing the 2011 Guide to Bold New Ideas for Making Work Work and co-hosting a webcast, “The Business Imperative for Building More Flexible and Effective Workplaces,” on March 30.

A SHRM-commissioned survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit, “Company of the Future,” found that despite the recession, C-suite executives say the biggest threat to their organizations’ success is attracting and retaining top talent. Add to that the results from a 2010 SHRM study that found the best way to attract and retain the best people — even mentioned more often than compensation — is to provide flexible work arrangements.

“Consistently, our research finds that employees in effective and flexible workplaces have greater engagement on the job and greater desire to stay with their organization. In addition, they report lower stress levels and better overall health,” said Ellen Galinsky, president of the Families and Work Institute.

“The SHRM-FWI partnership is providing focused leadership on workplace flexibility — the next business imperative that will lead to a higher quality of work, more employee commitment and higher productivity,” SHRM Interim President and CEO Henry G. (Hank) Jackson said. “The Guide to Bold New Ideas and the webcast are among the partnership’s first resources to help organizations implement effective workplace flexibility strategies.”

The 2011 Guide is the go-to place for finding the best examples of employers that have created effective and flexible workplaces to benefit employees while improving an organization’s bottom line, even during a challenging economic climate. It is an invaluable resource for employers that want to adopt more effective and flexible practices or improve what they are currently offering. It is also a go-to source for job seekers looking for employers that offer flexibility.

It consists of 425 brief case studies of small, mid-sized and large winners of the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility from 44 states across the country. The profiled winners have adopted effective workplace strategies such as:

  • Partially paid summer sabbaticals at Margolin, Winer and Evens in Garden City, N.Y., to help control labor costs during the summer slowdown;
  • Rotating compressed workweeks for administrative staff at BDO USA, LLP (which won the award in 29 locations across the United States) that have cut overtime and operational costs while extending administrative coverage;
  • Cisco’s "Off/On Ramp," which enables employees at the San Jose, Calif., worksite to take a 12- to 24- month unpaid break from their career, while maintaining benefits for the first year.

Winners are selected through a rigorous process that includes benchmarks against nationally representative data and an employee survey.

The free webcast at 2 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 30, will share best practices and creative solutions from the 2011 Guide. Galinsky and Lois Backon, senior vice president of FWI, will explore the important role effective and flexible workplaces can play in increasing job satisfaction, employee health, retention rates and employee engagement. They'll share data on how workplace flexibility has improved organizations' bottom line and become the new business imperative for any employer looking to compete for top talent and increase retention.

The webcast is open to the public. HR recertification credits are available from the Human Resource Certification Institute. For more information or to register for the webcast, visit:

For more information on the partnership between the Families and Work Institute and the Society for Human Resource Management, visit: or

About the Society for Human Resource Management

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 250,000 members in more than 140 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China and India. For more information, see SHRM Online at and follow us on Twitter at

About the Families and Work Institute

The Families and Work Institute (FWI) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that studies the changing workforce, family and community. As a preeminent think tank, FWI is known for being ahead of the curve, identifying emerging issues, and then conducting rigorous research that often challenges common wisdom and provides insight and knowledge. As an action tank, FWI conducts numerous studies that put its research into action and then evaluates the results. Its purpose is to create research to live by. For more information, see


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