How Can You Promote Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance has been a theme in the workplace for over twenty years now. What is your team’s stress index? Are your employees reacting to constant change in business priorities, long hours or 24/7 mentality? Do you support and incorporate the employee’s right to create balance in their lives?
Work-life balance is defined as a balance between one’s work and personal life. Technology has increased the discussions and concerns around this issue. If an employee feels out of balance, either with their work or with personal life, it influences their ability to perform. In managing employees, their problems are the problems of the organization.
Work-life balance is integral to the individual and the company’s wellbeing.
When managing employees, you quickly become aware that there are different interpretations of work-life balance with each of your team members. In order to implement a work-life orientation with your employees, you need to understand what this means for each person. There are people where work is their life….they derive so much pleasure from what they are doing. On the flip are the people who need to work in order to pay their bills. What you can do is make the basic assumption that all employees will burn out eventually if the company increases their demand for continuous productivity with no separation between work and non-work.
In this demanding business environment, how can you possibly think about work-life balance when there is so much work to do to stay competitive? You can…and you need to put in the time to develop a plan with your team members.
If your primary focus is the business and not your employees, your employees will experience burnout and you will experience less productivity. Employees are people with different needs and in managing employees balance the requirements of your deliverables and the needs of your employees.
It’s complex, yet simple….how is that for confusing.
Complex because employees are different and their core desires are different. Simple because you only need to do one thing with people to help her/him create more balance within their lives. It’s about listening and helping them find solutions that work for them and you.
Look around you…see the change in the seasons. Nature knows that there is a time of intense productivity and a time for rest. Businesses are recognizing this and they are starting to hire work-life development specialists to design programs for the organization.
What are the benefits to you as a manager?
- Team members are more loyal when they know their wellbeing is recognized by you.
- Refreshed employees are more productive and creative.
- Reduced sick time
- Decreased in health benefit usage which ultimately saves money for the company
- …and more
Types of Work/Life Programs
- Flexible working schedules – part time, telecommuting, job sharing, compressed workweek
- Parent Leave
- Elder or child care programs
- Employee Assistance Programs
- Monthly Lunch Time Seminars on work-life balance
- …and more
The greatest skill you can develop is managing employees is listening. When you listen, you are open to solutions. It doesn’t mean that you can offer your employees everything they want. It does mean that you available to them and their needs. Work-life balance is both the individual and company’s responsibility. A company is defined by their people resources. You never lose out when you focus on the energy resources of each of your employees.
What about you…do you support your own work-life balance?
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P.S. Check out this site: WorkToLive – offers some interesting ways to decrease stress in the workplace. He focuses on work-life balance.
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