New SHRM-FWI Guide Inspires Manufacturers to Adopt Workplace Flexibility Practices

Apr 8, 2015

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Families and Work Institute (FWI) have released a new toolkit to help employers add workplace flexibility to an industry often considered inflexible — manufacturing.

Workflex and Manufacturing Guide: More Than a Dream describes the many types of flexibility that make sense for manufacturing. It is designed to help manufacturers elevate the conversations about workplace flexibility in their organizations beyond just telework and individualized schedules.

The guide includes practices from manufacturing employers that support the work-life needs of production employees. “Offering workflex is not only possible in manufacturing, it’s successful,” said Lisa Horn, director of congressional affairs at SHRM and leader of its Workplace Flexibility Initiative.

The release of the guide is being followed by a special session at SHRM’s Annual Conference June 28 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The “Attracting and Retaining Talent in Manufacturing” workshop will offer strategies and best practices from manufacturers that are changing the rules, along with trend-spotting research from thought leaders.

The Workflex and Manufacturing Guide is the first in a series of guides being produced by the When Work Works project, a national SHRM-FWI partnership, with a vision to help reinvent work across all industries. The guide is available free for download.

The guide offers tips, such as:

  • Make workflex compatibility an equipment specification. Challenge your equipment designers, buyers and suppliers to provide equipment that is compatible with cross-training and workflex. For example, require that newly purchased machinery have shorter warm-up and cool-down times and be easily reconfigured for different operators.
  • Explore flexible shift arrangements. Though remote work and individualized scheduling are not generally possible in manufacturing, consider shift swapping, split shifts and adjusted shifts as alternatives to rigid, manager-arranged scheduling.

Media: For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Kate Kennedy of SHRM Media Affairs at 703-535-6260 and or Eve Tahmincioglu at 212-716-1842 and

Follow discussions on social media at #WorkflexManufacturing and #reinventwork.

About When Work Works
When Work Works is a national initiative, led by the partnership of the Families and Work Institute (FWI) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), to help businesses of all sizes and types become more successful by transforming the way they view and adopt effective and flexible workplaces. When Work Works is one of the foremost providers of resources, rigorous research and best practices on workplace effectiveness and flexibility in the nation. The initiative administers the prestigious annual When Work Works Award, which recognizes exemplary employers for creating effective workplaces to increase business and employee success. Visit and follow us on Twitter @WhenWorkWorks.

About the Society for Human Resource Management
Founded in 1948, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest HR membership organization devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 275,000 members in over 160 countries, the Society is the leading provider of resources to serve the needs of HR professionals and advance the professional practice of human resource management. SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China, India and United Arab Emirates. Visit SHRM Online at and follow us on Twitter @SHRMPress.

About 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 pre-eminent 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, visit, like us on and follow us on Twitter @FWINews.


Job Finder

Find an HR Job Near You
Post a Job


Find the Right Vendor for Your HR Needs

SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 10,000 companies

Search & Connect