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How a need for flexibility affects impact in the workplace

Flexibility Preference
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Professional preferences

Meeting flexibility requirements for individuals within the workplace is crucial to ensure a feeling of security and comfort is achieved every day. For those high in flexibility preference, structure and order are against their nature, they need flexibility in how they accomplish their goals and meet deadlines, and micro-management is a demotivator. For those low in flexibility preference, they thrive with clear rules, order, structure, and plans. A clear to do list and activities to achieve goals are necessary to move forward.

Understanding your level of need for flexible learning enables you to create a job design that will help you succeed. You can share this with your manager and help them understand the level and management and structure suited to you, enabling your manager to design your role to suit your professional preference.

How people higher on the scale are motivated

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You enjoy an environment where you react spontaneously, change direction as required, and react to challenges flexibility. You trust yourself and are self-sufficient, believing you can make decisions as required to achieve your goals even in ambiguous situations. You do not strive to perfectionism and are willing to innovate and go beyond the confines of the task to develop a solution. Rather than planning in advance, you stay open to new opportunities that may arise, throwing yourself into new projects and new ideas, staying open and adventurous. You are able to deal with challenges and hardships, and especially challenging clients or tasks because you have the self-confidence to manage reactions and respond actively at the moment. This also means you are not one to keep on top of the paperwork and do not always meet deadlines, as this is too regulated for your nature!

Actions for people higher on the scale to improve

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Try to engage in new projects that allow you to ideate and innovate, that require more flexibility in management, a more agile way of working. Ensure you are given autonomy and responsibility for tasks, with little supervision, so you can adjust your way to of thinking and acting as you require. Re-evaluating ideas and values and looking for the best possible solution is where you thrive, but challenging authority may create issues. Remember to ask for help when you need it and exercise caution when needed!

Improvement checklist for people higher on the scale

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  • Do you have autonomy in your role?
  • Do you sometimes feel stifled by rules and structures?
  • Are you able to take responsibility for your goals and how you achieve them?
  • Is there an opportunity to jump into new projects that require agility?
  • Do you feel micromanaged?

How people lower on the scale are motivated

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You thrive in a work environment with clear rules, structures, measurements, KPIs, and conform to those rules, so you can ensure your work efforts are going in the right direction. If the structure is inconsistent or lacking you find it difficult to contend with the stress and may panic under the pressure of the changes or disruption. You always deliver and meet scheduled deadlines, it would not be a question not to! You do depend on others for validation and support and therefore like to have more regular check-ins with your manager.

Actions for people lower on the scale to improve

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Schedule your day in such a way that induces security and certainty of how it will unfold. Share this calendar with your team and manager so they know when you are comfortable being interrupted or discussing things. Clear task definition is crucial so you don’t feel you need to disrupt your workday and tasks with other seemingly unrelated tasks or responsibilities. If change is expected, communication in advance can reduce stress feelings. If a change is expected, try to draw a connection between the change and something you do well to increase confidence and management of the change.

Improvement checklist for people lower on the scale

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  • Do you have a consistent schedule?
  • Do you have regular updates with your manager?
  • Can you draw a connection between the change and your strengths?
  • Do you receive positive feedback?


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