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Being flexible will gain support and approval from the team. 

1. Welcome change: 

If you resist change or show your employees that you are not happy with any such changes that management make, then they will take this attitude of yours as the benchmark. It is human nature to resist change due to our fear of the unknown. If change never happened we would not have computers or the internet, we would walk to work rather than have mechanical transport. Welcome change by changing your behaviour and try your best to make the change work.

2. Follow the process:

Managers worry about being fair and just to the employee all the time. True Leaders know that the key is making sure that the process is the same – that every employee’s request is fairly considered, even though the outcome may vary.

3. Eliminate abuse:

Some employees do take advantage of their work situation and abuse the system. There are always a few bad apples; however, they have to be dealt with. If employees are well managed, abuses will be kept to a minimum.

4. Be consistent:

If flexibility was applied with an employee in the past and it did not work, this does not mean that the same outcome will occur the next time it is used. Learning from your mistakes becomes an important tool in making improvements.

5. Take time to manage:

The fact is; it does not require more time to manage people. A manager’s job is to spend more time managing their team than getting their hands dirty. If there were no employees, there will be no need for managers.

6. Know policies and guidelines:

Knowledge is power and so is your level of respectability when you are familiar with company guidelines, policies and rules. If you are not sure, then consult Personnel or Human Resources. This knowledge will broaden your boundaries and will make you a valuable resource within the company.

7. Promote flexibility and fairness:

These two elements bond any team together. Fairness helps people to understand issues and situations better, while flexibility creates positive attitudes. Make sure that this line is never crossed or it could be construed as favours given to certain employees.

8. Be discreet:

An extremely important spin-off of flexibility is discretion. Discretion means examining each situation on its own merits while considering the needs of the employee and the organisation. There is no Life Handbook so there is not always a ‘right answer’. At times, a variety of solutions need to be considered and managers must use their discretion to select the best approach.

9. Consider their needs:

Put aside any biases you may have in order to fully understand and consider the needs of the individual. Their attitudes or lifestyles will no doubt differ from your own. Review their work/life issues in a consistent, objective manner and make decisions based on what is best for the company, the team and the employee.

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