Career flexibility is a concept that recognizes the fact that careers in the 21st-century economy often follow a variable rather than a linear progression. Out of necessity or personal choice, individuals may leave the workforce for a period of time at any point in the life cycle, but will need and/or want to reenter the workforce. For example, some workers may leave the workforce at certain points in their careers to further their education. Others take leave to meet their family and caregiving responsibilities.
Employees approaching retirement may want to shift to positions in which they have more opportunities for mentoring and knowledge transfer, or to jobs with more flexibility and reduced responsibility.
There are three components that make up career flexibility:
These case studies come from the Sloan Center on Aging and Work's Executive Case Summary Series. Cases used with permission.
Fidelity's Retirement Services Staffing Model The implementation of a part-time flexible staffing model in the Retirement Services call centers
Fidelity Investments is an international provider of financial services and investment resources that help individuals and organizations meet their financial objectives. The company employs over 54,000 people, with an average employee age of 33 years. As the U.S. population ages, Fidelity is experiencing an increased demand for retirement and financial planning products. In response, Fidelity continues to develop innovative and adaptable workforce and business strategies such as the Retirement Services Staffing Model. Launched in Fall 2007, the Retirement Services Staffing Model aims to maximize the efficiency of Fidelity employees and provide them with flexibility. Fidelity discovered that instead of hiring a full-time employee for its call center and underutilizing them during slow hours, they could hire a part-time employee for peak hours. Fidelity recruits employees who are looking for a challenging but flexible job despite their life stage. The company concentrates on recruiting parents, students, second job hires, and older workers. Fidelity feels that older workers in particular are better able to relate to their clients who are seeking retirement planning services. (75)
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