How to Help Your Employees Have a Better Work Life Balance

work life balance

Are you concerned about your employees’ work life balance?

You should be.

Research shows that 25% of employees report that their jobs are the number one source of stress in their lives.

Encouraging your employees to strike a better balance can result in a better workplace environment. It can also boost your company’s productivity.

As a leader, you hold the inherent responsibility for helping and guiding your employees to focus on their well-being. Let’s get into the top tips you need to know.

Consider Offering Flexible Work Schedules

Many bosses fear the notion of flexible work. This fear is rooted in the archaic idea that employees must be chained to their desks for 40+ hours per week.

However, times are rapidly changing. Modern technology now allows us to perform many work-related tasks anywhere. With that in mind, it can feel frustrating to employees to feel obligated to stay in the workplace when they can complete specific tasks at home.

Can you offer four-day workweeks? What about the option for telecommuting? If you’re not sure what would be best, why not consider asking your employees what they would find ideal.

Flexible work may not apply to every industry. However, if it’s possible, it’s one of the best ways to secure employee satisfaction and retention.

Encourage & Enforce Work Boundaries

While technology allows us the increased flexibility to work, it also has an inherent dark side. Technology often requires that employees remain tethered to their phones and computers 24/7. This makes the standard 9-5 obsolete; instead, people must be checking their devices to stay on top of productivity.

Unfortunately, this 24/7 access backfires. It’s a surefire way to guarantee burnout. And burnout is detrimental to productivity and employee satisfaction.

Instead, you need to determine and enforce actual work hours. If you require on-call procedures, keep it fair for your employees and compensate them appropriately.

Finally, you should not expect employees to work while on vacation. Encourage employees to send out an email reporting the parameters of their time off and encourage them to actually enjoy the trip! Do not contact them unless it is a legitimate emergency.

Support Parents

Got working parents in the workplace? It’s not surprising. Research shows that nearly half of American households with children have both parents working full-time.

However, many companies lose out on great talent because they cannot (or do not) cater to the evolving needs that working parents have. 

Let’s be real. Working full-time and taking care of a family full-time is incredibly hard work. For this reason, many parents feel torn in how to balance their time appropriately. 

On the one hand, they often care deeply about their work. On the other hand, they also care deeply about their families and home obligations. Unfortunately, many parents feel like they must choose between one or the other.

They also feel worried about their employer judging them for needing time off to attend to their kids. This creates a pervasive cycle of fear and shame, and it can impact workplace productivity. 

For one, start by evaluating your maternity and paternity leave policies. Speak with your HR to determine what’s feasible. If you genuinely value keeping your employees, you will also value having generous leave policies.

Second, we all know the increasing demands associated with parenting. Can you offer on-site childcare or vouchers for helping with daycare payments? What about increasing the ability for remote work? 

Remember that parenting doesn’t just refer to small children. Employers can offer exclusive programs like college scholarships, financial counseling, and even homework hotlines for adolescents and teens.

Incentivize Well-Being and Health

Unfortunately, many outstanding employees neglect their own health for the sake of work. Maybe even you struggle with this balance yourself!

That said, wellness incentive programs can make a dramatic difference in employee physical and emotional health. Furthermore, with the right approach, you can make prioritizing health a fun and friendly competition. 

For example, many workplaces offer ‘weight loss’ competitions. Everyone contributes a fixed amount of money (or the company sponsors the cash), and the winner collects the windfall.

There are many other ways to incentivize health including: 

  • offering healthy snacks and food in the break room
  • creating an on-site gym or subsidizing gym memberships
  • providing rebates for health insurance
  • funding smoking cessation programs
  • encouraging walking meetings
  • creating and funding an intramural employee sports team
  • offering on-site fitness classes
  • installing standing desks or cycle chairs 

Feel free to ask employees if there are any perks they would appreciate in the workplace. Even if you can’t make any guarantees, you should take note of what they value.

Lead By Example

As a leader, people turn to you every day for your guidance and expertise. If you want to convey the importance of a work life balance, you need to be willing to model that!

Think about it. If you never take vacations and stay late in the office every day, what kind of message are you sending to your employees? 

On the other hand, if you take paid time off regularly and leave at a sensible hour, you show that you value your work and your personal life.

Final Thoughts on Embracing Work Life Balance

Motivating your employees to improve their work-life balance makes for a happier and healthier company environment.

That old mantra work hard, play hard? It’s essential that you embrace it for both yourself and the people working for you. 

Interested in learning more about boosting your company’s organizational culture? Check out this guide today! 

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