from Compliance to Collaboration
Over its decades of flexibility consulting and tool development,
Rupert & Company has realized and promoted the importance of
seeing all flexible schedules as negotiations over the best way to
integrate time, talent and task.
Flexibility is not a one-time deal
or a new rigid schedule. It works best when the true needs of both
employees and businesses are the subject of ongoing conversation and
The FFWO prescribes all the elements needed for good flexibility
outcomes. Eligible employees, written proposals, a meeting of
employee and manager and approval or denial based on business
reasons are typically present in successful flexibility initiatives.
One missing success factor: willing employers, driven by a strong
Supervisor Chiu lays out in the 2-minute video the case for employee
satisfaction, family support, greater productivity and enhanced
retention that some employers will share. They will comply with the FFWO process and see benefits for companies, customers and
It is possible that as many or more employers will find themselves
complying with the letter, but not the spirit of the new law. They
will post, but show minimal enthusiasm for the FFWO. They will
provide little guidance to employees and managers, push all
deadlines to the limit, hold perfunctory meetings and find a reasons
to say no in the numerous acceptable standards. They will comply
with the requirements of the FFWO while violating its spirit.
The Ask4Flex website introduces the
missing success factor. Working within the FFWO framework it
advocates for collaboration over compliance
as the higher-level goal for employers. In sections addressed to the
employer, the manager and the employee, the site fleshes out the
process to make mutual gain the focus of every step.
Rather than rely on enterprise goals (such as retention and
productivity) or social goals (such as reduced family flight) each
negotiation is grounded in practical gains for the person and the
business. Clear claims from all employees are articulated in
proposals, in meetings and in acceptance, modification or denial of
By collaborating openly on a business basis, the gains
sought by FFWO and achieved elsewhere by fully collaborative
scheduling are possible.
Rupert & Company