Hiring for the Long Term: Is Workplace Flexibility More of a Curse Than a Blessing?

All employees want growth within the workplace, and all managers want to see growth within their employees (or at least they should). But, as valuable as workplace flexibility can be, should we draw a line? In summary, yes. And here’s why.

Job Titles and Duties Exist for a Reason

Many of us have experienced those jobs where, after the first few weeks, we realize it’s just not what we had in mind. Be it due to high expectations or misleading job descriptions, one thing is for certain; these are not the jobs we stay in, and we’re quick to jump ship rather than let ourselves stay somewhere we find ourselves professionally sinking.

While it’s not just helpful but actually necessary to step outside of our comfort zones every once in a while for career growth, there’s a difference between being a flexible worker and doing a different job than you were hired to do entirely. Any manager may benefit from sending a marketing professional on the occasional sales trip for educational purposes; after all, this could be highly helpful for their career and their contributions to your company. But hiring someone in an admin role and making them clean the office windows at the end of every workday for an hour or two, for example, is a sure to make them feel as though their skills are unappreciated, and ultimately send them scurrying for the exit.

Employees want to do what they are hired to do. As an employer, it’s vital to make sure you assess your company’s needs and hire the right people for the right positions, thus reducing employee turnover and saving both time and money.


Nobody Wants to Feel Unappreciated

While this was touched upon moments ago, there is a great deal more to be said about how giving an employee too many tasks unrelated to their position can push them away. Today the majority of working professionals not only complete university or college degrees/courses in their desired professions (54% of Canadians aged 25 to 64 in 2016, and still growing), but often also finding themselves having to pursue a great deal of unpaid/voluntary work in order to accumulate the experience necessary for many positions. Imagine undertaking all this over the course of 5+ years and finally getting hired in what seems like a great job, only to find that your skills are both wasted and unrecognized.

The fact of the matter is that any employee, no matter how thick their skin may be, will end up downtrodden and heavy-hearted if they don’t get to do what they have spent so much of their life preparing for. Even if you do manage to retain an employee after enforcing them to largely deviate from their original role, their heart simply won’t be in it. And because of this your company will suffer. After all, one of the most significant aspects of a company’s success is its employee retention, and this can be achieved effectively through delegating responsibilities correctly.


The Importance of Growth and Self-Improvement

The want for growth and self-improvement is a natural human instinct, whether you’re an employee beginning your career in your first role or a business owner wanting to see your company skyrocket. But it’s important to know where growth is needed, when it is needed, and how to go about it.

Roles in the workplace exist to ensure, in simple terms, that everything gets done. Sales people are hired to sell, writers are hired to write, and managers are hired to manage – and ALL of these working professionals will likely want to grow within these roles, not outside of them. This is why ensuring employee retention by providing room for growth is so valuable in maintaining the strength and effectiveness of your workforce.

Sometimes knowing who to hire for which position is a challenge, and that’s okay; this is where pre-employment testing and job fit assessments come in. With tools such as these at our disposal, we can now hire for the long-term. Hopefully, one day, we can all live in a world where excessive employee turnover is a thing of the past.