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February 2015 Archives


Betsy Myers, leadership expert and Founding Director of the Center for Women & Business at Bentley University, will deliver the keynote address at APA's 2015 Psychologically Healthy Workplace Awards, which will be presented on Saturday, March 14th in Washington, DC.

With deep experience in the corporate, political and higher education arena, Myers served as a senior adviser to Barack Obama’s Presidential Campaign. She joined the campaign in January 2007 as the Chief Operating Officer and established the campaign with a business operational model and customer service mentality.

Prior to this appointment, Myers was the Executive Director of the Center for Public Leadership (CPL) at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. She came to CPL in 2003, with a track record of strategically building and realigning organizations. Myers focused the Center's teaching and research around personal leadership and the fully integrated person.

A senior official in the Clinton Administration, Myers was the President's senior adviser on women's issues. As Deputy Assistant to the President, she launched and was the first Director of the White House Office for Women’s Initiatives and Outreach. She figured prominently in shaping the Administration's legislative agenda on issues such as domestic violence, reproductive choice, breast cancer and women in business.

Myers also served as the Associate Deputy Administrator for Entrepreneurial Development in the U.S. Small Business Administration. She implemented the SBA’s national requirements under President Clinton’s Welfare to Work Initiative and was responsible for the agency’s technical assistance, management and distance learning programs. In a previous post, Myers was the Director of the Office of Women’s Business Ownership at the SBA. She served as an advocate for the 7.8 million women entrepreneurs in the United States.

A Public Service Fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School, she graduated with a MPA in 2000 and then served as the School’s Director of Alumni Programs and External Relations before directing the Center for Public Leadership. Her book, Take the Lead: Motivate, Inspire, and Bring Out the Best in Yourself and Everyone Around You, was released in September 2011.

Each February, we host our I Love My Job campaign to highlight the positive aspects of work.

We feature submissions on our social media pages and recognize the person who submits our favorite entry each week with some special treats to share with his or her co-workers.

Here is our favorite submission from last week...

Bill Gentry, a research scientist at the Center for Creative Leadership, says...

About 60 percent of people who are leading for the first time never get any training, never get any development, never get any support in organizations. My job, and what I love doing, is finding out using research: What are the challenges these first-time managers are having? What are the skill gaps that they have? How can we help these people who are managing for the first time be the best that they can be?

What do you love about your job? Making a difference, working with fantastic colleagues, feeling proud of the organization you work for, having great benefits, something else? Let us know. Tell us in writing or send us a video. Help us spread the love and you might even be the next person featured!

Flexible work arrangements (FWAs) are believed to be an important organizational offering to assist employees in better managing work/life/family demands. The 2014 Workplace Flexibility Survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) identified the prevalence and nature of flexible work arrangements using a sample of 525 HR professionals randomly selected from SHRM's membership.

Findings indicated that the majority (52 to 75 percent) of organizations reported that FWA options had a positive impact on employee retention, recruitment and turnover. Improvement in these organizational objectives can translate into an improved bottom line for an organization. In terms of benefits to employees, the majority of organizations (52 to 84 percent) indicated FWA options had a positive impact on the quality of employees’ personal/family lives, morale, job satisfaction, engagement, job autonomy and health and wellness.

With promising outcomes for both the organization and employees, FWAs seem to offer real value. However, the extent of the value FWAs provide is still being determined. The vast majority (92 percent) of responding organizations did not use any method to measure its return on investment (ROI) or the effect on organizational and employee performance (83 percent). Research findings indicated that many organizations had a strong interest in doing so in the future. Many organizations (55 to 60 percent) indicated that an industry standard on types and methods of data collection and analyses, and benchmarks to evaluate degree of success would be “useful/very useful” in helping them to implement a strategy to measure the impact of FWAs.

A curious finding is the level of involvement of top management, HR and line managers/supervisors in the strategy design and implementation of FWAs within an organization. In this survey, 52 to 54 percent of organizations indicated top management and those in an HR function/role (including CHRO) were involved in the design of FWAs “to a large extent.” Fewer organizations (13 percent) indicated the same high level of involvement for line managers and supervisors. In terms of implementation of FWA strategy, findings indicate HR personnel took a more prominent role. Fifty-two percent of organizations said those in an HR function/role were “to a large extent” involved in implementation whereas only 31 to 36 percent of organizations indicated this level of involvement for top management and line managers/supervisors.

This has important implications as the majority of organizations (68 to 83 percent) indicated 8 out of 16 factors were “very important” in contributing to the success of FWAs. These factors included support and buy-in from top management, commitment from employees and a supportive organizational culture. Research increasingly suggests that multi-level leadership and support is a key component of a successful wellness strategy.

Future surveys could benefit from exploring factors which facilitate or impede top management and line managers/supervisors’ level of involvement in the design and implementation of FWAs. Any advances in clarifying the ROI and the effects of FWAs on organizational and employee performance through a standardized approach to data collection and analyses would be extremely valuable.

Resources: Berry, L., Mirabito, A. M., & Baun, W. B. (2010). What’s the Hard Return on Employee Wellness Programs, Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2010/12/whats-the-hard-return-on-employee-wellness-programs.



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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from February 2015 listed from newest to oldest.

November 2014 is the previous archive.

March 2015 is the next archive.

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