Fulfilling the Better Work-Life Balance Promise

Posted by Talent Intelligence on Mon, Jul 18, 2016 @ 14:07 PM

7-18-2016_acp.pngWork-life balance is often mentioned when companies discuss improving their employee satisfaction and retention levels

Several recent studies — including the Citrix Canada survey that found 96 percent of employees want jobs that provide a good work-life balance — have shown employees value being able to commit to both work and their time outside the office.

Yet that sometimes seems impossible to achieve. Work-life balance has declined in recent years in the U.K., according to Glassdoor. Eighty-nine percent of U.S. employees feel work-life balance has become a problem, according to a Society for Human Resource Management survey.

When an organization becomes busy, work-life balance can be one of the hardest initiatives to maintain.

Growth, significant staffing changes and other factors can create additional tasks that need to be taken care of quickly — which can often translate into a need for employees to contribute additional hours.

However, to truly ensure employees experience a sense of work-life balance, companies have to make upholding boundaries, even during frenetic periods, a constant focus.

The following tips can help you position workers to be able to give 100 percent in and outside of the office:

Offer helpful employee amenities, if you can

2-8-16_blog_2-1.jpgTake a cue from Colgate-Palmolive, which landed the No. 1 spot on Forbes’ list of the 25 companies that are successfully maintaining work-life balance, due to its commitment to providing an environment that respects employees’ personal needs — plus tuition and relocation assistance; nearby childcare centers and other stress-reducing features.

Sustain constant communication

Reminding managers (and employees) that company leadership wants establishing a better work-life balance to be a priority can help ensure an initiative’s guidelines are enforced. Include program messaging in all-staff emails; signage posted around the office and other communication pieces.

Consider implementing contact-related restrictions

Because cell phones and Internet access have become so commonplace in the past 10 to 20 years, employers know they can often easily reach employees after-hours; but that doesn't meant they should. In 2014, a deal signed by French unions and employers’ federations specified that digital and consultancy sector workers could not be contacted before 9 a.m. or after 6 p.m., according to the BBC. Creating similar rules could help your organization provide a better work-life balance.

7-5-2016__blog_2.pngThe same principle holds true for extended periods away from the office. Emailing questions to an employee who’s sunning on an island likely won’t provide the same level of relaxation a completely work-free break could (and should) offer — which can potentially result in a decrease in employee satisfaction and engagement.

For additional tips on contacting workers who are out of the office — for an evening or more than a week — and maintaining work-life balance, read our blog post on respecting employees’ time off.

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