At this time of Thanksgiving (in the US) I’m thankful for the flexibility my OFS provide me.

In our house it’s a time of puzzles and Legos and being together.

I hope your OFS provide you this flexibility too.

I got an email about being flexible recently from a long time subscriber:

One of my valued OFS sent me a formal resignation letter a few months ago, out of left field!

He had to suddenly take over his family business, even though he didn’t like the business and he loved working for me.

I wasn’t ready to lose him, because he is fantastic at his job, and great at communicating! So here’s what I wrote to him:

“This is very sad news!

Is there any chance we can hop on a Zoom call? I’d like to propose some flexible part-time options and I am also open to suggestions.

If you don’t just don’t have any bandwidth, at the very least it would be nice to chat one more time in person (kind of, with Zoom, I guess).”

I think he might not have considered that part-time would be an option. Also, he was pretty overwhelmed with his new situation and he was worried about letting me down.

Anyhow — it turned out great! He was very excited to work part-time and we were back on track within a few days. He has been his usual superstar self ever since.

He gets so much work done, at such high quality, less hours are not an issue to me.

(I probably have more room for flexibility than some employers, since my team has always worked their preferred hours, Monday to Friday.)

I experienced something similar years back when one of my developers got this super lucrative job offer in Singapore. It was an opportunity of a lifetime, not just for him but for his entire family. He wanted to take it because it meant better schools for his kids and a chance for his wife to pursue higher education.

But he was really reluctant to take it because he had been working for me for years and he loved his job. So he emailed me, explained the situation, and asked if he could keep working part-time. He didn’t ask for a pay raise. Didn’t use the job as leverage. All he asked was the same hourly rate and the opportunity to keep working.

I was flexible and kept him. It was great for me.

Flexibility can often prevent turnover.