Contirbuted by Dr. Peter Hirst, Associate Dean, Executive Education, MIT Sloan School of Management and Katerina Martchouk
A couple of years ago, the Office of Executive Education at the MIT Sloan School of Management began testing a fundamentally new approach to how, where and when our people work--by developing a set of team-based, flexible work guidelines that engage the entire team instead of making individual accommodations. The pilot proved highly successful and later served as a model for a number of pilot programs on flexible arrangements, now managed through MIT Human Resources, across MIT. We are very pleased with this accomplishment, and with the support and enthusiasm of our colleagues in the Human Resources departments at MIT Sloan and MIT.
Fierce Competition for Talent
Some academic institutions may be hotbeds of innovation, yet when it comes to developing and adopting workplace policies to accommodate today's workers, higher education has been lagging behind other industries, according to the widely publicized Gallup report “State of the American Workplace, 2017.” This is a serious concern for us at MIT, as we compete with industry in retaining and recruiting the best talent across our departments, labs and centers. From industry giants like Google, Biogen, and Akamai, to scores of exciting startups--many fueled by their proximity to MIT--Kendall Square in Cambridge, Mass., is a battleground for top talent. As the economy picks up and people feel more confident about their careers, we have to step up our efforts to continue to be among America's best employers (MIT was ranked #12 in the Forbes 2016 survey.) (Image: Copyright © 2017 Gallup, Inc.)
Exception Becomes the Rule
The Gallup report was very clear on what American employers need to do to not only hire and keep the best talent--but to keep employees engaged and productive.
As MIT Sloan professor Zeynep Ton points out, engaged employees are, in fact, more productive, which leads to more business value for employers. Ton teaches in The Good Jobs Strategy: Delivering Superior Value to Customers, Shareholders, and Employees, a new program designed to help leaders of service businesses understand how they can manage operations where everyone wins.