How to Cultivate Flexibility in Your Workplace

May 18, 2017

A flexible work environment is key to being competitive in today’s marketplace.  If you can cultivate that attitude of flexibility, then you will be able to develop that attitude in your team.


The most important thing to create a flexible work environment is you as the leader need to be flexible.  Here are three perspectives to remember when you want to incorporate flexibility into your workplace.


1. Not clinging to rules


Being dogmatic about rules is not necessarily an essential function at your company.  More often than not, it is not helpful.

Don’t get me wrong.  There are times when sticking to the standard is extremely important.  Never veer from the standard if it will involve doing something illegal, unethical, or immoral.  The standard should never be violated in those cases.

But most of the time the standard is simply a guideline, and overzealous adherence is a liability.  If your workplace relies heavily on bureaucracy, you may have a managerial perspective that relies too much on control.


2. Exhibiting humility


Humility is a key virtue in cultivating flexibility.  When people feel a sense of self-importance, they are more likely to defend their ideas and not be flexible.  But when they are truly humble, they do not feel threatened by others.

Humble leaders are not weak.  They know who they are so they do not need to pretend to be someone they’re not.

Humble leaders are not weak. They know who they are so they do not need to pretend to be someone they’re not.


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By exhibiting humility, you will show that you do not have to prove yourself to be someone—because you already are someone.  The people you work with will feel that they can drop their guards around you because they won’t feel like they have to prove themselves either.

As a leader, you will be well served to get yourself out of the way in order to lead your organization.  After all, it’s not about you.  It’s about doing what needs to be done to bring out the best in your employees so you can serve your customer the best that you can.


3. Being willing to change


If you are going to be competitive as a company, it will be evidenced in how open you are as a leader to change.  If you are not open to change, then the people who work for you will not be open to it either.

You as a leader set the tone for your organization.  By rejecting rigid obedience to rules and embracing a personal humility, you will be able to create a culture where people will be willing to change.  The people who work for you want to know they will not be slapped down if they try to do something new.

You have an opportunity to unleash the creative potential in everyone on your team.  But they must be purposely cultivated for change so that they can flex with the demands of the situation.  And that will start with you showing them how to be flexible.


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