As a business owner, productivity is always a priority, but an employee’s health and satisfaction should also be taken into consideration. Running a successful business has become synonymous with maintaining a group of happy and healthy employees who are engaged in their work on a daily basis. However, many companies fail to promote a culture of work-life balance. There is no longer one solution for accomplishing a healthy work-life balance, nor is it a “nice-to-have” for a business.
According to a 2016 study, the idea of work-life balance has moved over the past two decades from being a fringe topic to a position where it is a central feature of political debate about productivity, social well-being and inclusion.
Here are four ways to keep your employees engaged through a healthy work-life balance.
- Encourage Active Managers
Coaching managers to be active with their direct reports is a vital way to ensure that a healthy work-life balance is attained at all levels in a business. Simple solutions such as having an “open-door policy,” providing positive and constructive feedback, and understanding employee needs can create a sense of trust and transparency between managers and direct reports.
A regularly scheduled check-in between an employee and his or her supervisor can be a good first step to gauging workloads and outside-work situations. These one-on-one meetings, whether held once a week or once a quarter, can simply serve as a time to catch up with one another outside of the day-to-day. This doesn’t have to be a formally structured meeting, but can happen outside of work, over lunch or as a small group with a department manager. Basic questions for this conversation can include the following:
- How has your work capacity been this period?
- Are there specific issues that have been on your mind that we should discuss?
- How is everything going outside of work?
Managers meeting with their direct reports is essential to knowing firsthand if there is a problem with an employee’s balance of work and personal life.
Flexibility can be a huge factor in promoting a positive work-life balance. By giving employees the ability to work remotely when they need to, or having flex hours in order to accommodate home-life issues, burnout becomes less of a problem. Between family duties, sports practice or the school play, implementing a flex schedule can sometimes make or break someone’s entire mindset and encourage them to work harder when they are on the job.
Getting away from the strenuous daily routine and working from home can increase productivity and keep employees positive about their responsibilities at work. Consider allowing employees to have one dedicated day per week to work at home. This can break up the intimidating work week with some well-deserved time to work in the comfort of home. This also gives employees a break from another commute and the same monotonous routine, which increases stress.
Of course, flexibility can sometimes be limited by the nature of a job, so not all business owners are able to offer such benefits. When this is the case, pay particular attention to the other ways you can promote a healthy work-life balance.
3. Be Generous with Paid Time Off
Today, a job’s benefits are often valued as much as its salary. Benefits such as Paid Time Off (PTO) and work flexibility are crucial to ensuring a healthy work-life balance with employees. No matter the job, your workers are going to need time away in order to avoid burnout. Encouraging a strong PTO policy is one way to ensure your employees are taking time away from work and focusing on their personal lives. While providing PTO may prove useful, encouraging employees to use it is equally as important. Doing so can rejuvenate workers when they return to work with a fresh mind and new ideas.
- Promote a Positive Culture in the Workplace
A study by the Hay Group found that nearly half of employees felt they did not have a good balance between their work and personal lives. More importantly, 27% of employees who felt an uneven work-life balance planned to leave their companies within the next two years. In many cases, having fun at work can help alleviate the pressures of a weak work-life balance as well as improve overall retention in a business.
By creating activities for employees to take their mind off of work, they can feel more meaningful to a company rather than thinking of themselves as dispensable. The idea of celebrating accomplishments with one another, socializing outside of the workplace and engaging with one another can significantly improve the balance of an employee’s work and personal lives. Read more on that in our recent blog post.
Traditionally, the responsibility of a healthy work-life balance has fallen on the employee. However, promoting a healthy balance should also come from management. There are plenty of opportunities for management to help everyone balance work with their personal lives outside of the office.
Questions? Reach out to one of our qualified HR consultants for more ways to ensure a healthy work-life balance, or give us a call at 1.866.501.4942. Employer Flexible helps you get the most out of your employees — allowing you to impact what matters in your business.