As the nature of work changes frequently (global with multiple time zones, virtual, diverse, varying levels of complexity), related efforts required from individuals also become complex and more demanding.

Organisations demand a higher level of commitment and flexibility from employees in order to deliver successful results. Smart organisations will realise that in order to get the best, sustained efforts from employees, they’ve got to be flexible to accommodate the unique needs of their employees. Needs and related priorities can be different for individuals. Flexibility has to be a two-way street.

The commitment and engagement levels of employees are much higher when the organisation is flexible to work with the unique needs of an individual. No policy or process can directly achieve this on its own. In my opinion, policies exist for a couple of important reasons – to adhere to the legal requirements and to maintain consistency/fairness across the organisation. The discretion of a manager or leader becomes the critical element here. The challenge is to find the right balance in maintaining fairness across the organisation within the framework of the policy and making it effective for an employee.

At the core, an organisation is a collection of individuals. For an employee, the organisation or company is represented by his or her direct manager and leaders. If managers and leaders can show that they genuinely care about their employees through their actions, in spite of the tough decisions that have to be made, it will go a long way in retaining the commitment and high emotional engagement.