Profitable companies have productive employees. According to a 2018 study from the Social Market Foundation, employees are more productive when they are happy (click here for the .pdf). Therefore, employers have a vested interest in keeping their employees happy and satisfied with their jobs. One way to make your employees happier is to emphasize an appropriate work-life balance.
For some companies, embracing work-life balance is a major departure from their previous standard operating procedures. If that describes your organization, you may be wondering where to begin. We have determined four simple, actionable steps that will help you establish a better work-life balance for your employees!
1. Accept that your employees almost certainly need this.
Be proactive and anticipate the need for work-life balance. Many employees crave it but it can be daunting to ask. Chances are, a large chunk of your staff could benefit from a better balance between their personal and professional lives. Recognize this need and do what you can to shift your corporate culture to honor it.
2. Recalibrate your attitudes.
An easy way to do this is to look at why your employees work the hours they do. Are they poor time managers? Do they prefer to work during quiet after-hours? Do they have family obligations that require them to leave early? Consider these reasons and determine whether your organization can adapt to those needs without sacrificing quality.
3. Offer more flexibility.
When you recognize the need for your employees to balance family obligations with work and take steps to support that culture shift, be sure to broadcast that message. Clearly set and roll out expectations and make your all employees are aware of the new policy!
4. Enforce boundaries.
This is crucial to the success of your plan. One concrete example is in paid time off. Does your organization allow paid time off (PTO) to roll over, or must it be used within that calendar year? Some of your employees might be stockpiling PTO for an anticipated need, such as the birth of a child or upcoming surgery. Some might want to donate PTO to a coworker who needs it. Others might be saving up for a long vacation. However, there are always a few employees who just accrue weeks of PTO–unless you force them to use it. As with everything else, you need to stay flexible so, allow some (either a percentage or a set amount) of the PTO to roll over into the next year.
The world has progressed since the days of Mad Men andGlengarry Glen Ross. Companies need to offer the best benefits if they want to attract the best employees. Few things are more attractive to employees of every generation than a company that understands its employees have lives outside the workplace. These steps can help your organization attract the kind of talent that will help you stay competitive in today’s economy and into the future.