Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Arizona State's work-life clinic recently wrote a case study of Arizona and Michigan' workplace flexibility policies. The project is sponsored by TWIGA Foundation and the Sloan Center of Aging and Work and stresses the need to support flexible work arrangements, time off, and career flexibility. From the study's conclusion:
In conclusion, both Arizona and Michigan have the potential to bolster their status as states as employers-of-choice. Both states have achieved a flexible workplace with strong executive leadership throughout the state workforce’s management levels, and the support and use of flexible work arrangements, time off, and career flexibility to address emerging problems and changing demographics. Supported by the states’ existing legal frameworks, Arizona and Michigan have become models for creating and implementing flexibility for a dynamic and aging workforce. Indeed, Arizona and Michigan demonstrate that developing and continuing workplace flexibility programs requires a coordinated plan of awareness, assessment, and action. It involves a thoughtful response to societal problems, such as a down economy in Michigan and environmental crises in Arizona and strong voices like Governor Granholm’s in Michigan and Governors Symington’s, Hull’s, Napolitano’s and Brewer’s in Arizona. It requires “buy in” from managers who need to support, educate, implement, and know how to use new and creative ways to utilize existing laws for the benefit of the state as an employer and employees.
This report demonstrates that Arizona and Michigan have certainly come a long way in offering workplace flexibility to address the aging workforce and support all generations of state workers at their various life cycle stages. Nonetheless, as employers-of-choice, Arizona and Michigan must remain committed to a continued awareness of the existence and impact of changing demographics, continued assessments of the state responses to these changing factors, and take further action when necessary. By operating within existing legal frameworks and following this States as Employers-of-Choice model, these states can create a win-win-win situation for workplace flexibility that benefits employees, the state as an employer, and communities at large.