How Employers Ensure Healthy Work Life Balance for Employees
Do you find your team mates stress and irritated for much of the day?
Do you find your staff calling in sick frequently?
Do you have people coming in late to work consistently?
Have you observed moodiness, withdrawal and negative outbursts in employees?
If the answer to the above questions is in affirmative, it’s a sign that your employees may be suffering from burnout.
Employee burnout is nothing but an emotional state of exhaustion followed by reduced levels of productivity, a sense of failure and low morale. It is the by-product of a busy schedule and happens when employees, unable to draw a line between work and personal life stop caring for themselves, all in the name of being productive. When the work pressure becomes too much to handle it begins to eat into their personal space, off-days and weekends. As a result, people are unable to sleep, eat or even relax properly. They’re constantly stressed, and things start spiraling downward from there. It takes a toll on their health, they don’t feel too well and their productivity is negatively affected. Burnouts at workplace are becoming increasingly common thanks to the competitive world we live in so much so that it has made it to the WHO’s list of occupational phenomenon.
While it is not possible to provide a perfect work life balance to the employees and a lot depends on the employees’ attitude to work and family life, there are measures that companies can take to help their employees find the correct balance between professional and personal life.
#Tip 1 Revisit your hiring process –One of the common causes of stress at workplace is working in or taking up roles that don’t match their capabilities or don’t allow them to use their skills to their full potential. The result can be stress and frustration setting in in the minds of the employees. Employers can take care of this by hiring the right candidate for the job. Revisit your hiring process, interview, job adverts etc. Create job descriptions that explain the roles and responsibilities clearly. Mention the expectations, would it be team work or individual performances. Make sure the reporting managers get to know the candidate during the interview. Include policies if any, about working from home, late nights or weekends etc so employees know what to expect from the job before accepting the offer.
#Tip 2 Offer Remote and Flexible Working –Statistics clearly indicate that employees prefer flexible work arrangement where they have the freedom to choose when and how to work. With a flexible work environment, employees can choose the hours they work so they can attend to their personal responsibilities as well. This way they will be able to focus more and therefore their productivity levels would go up. Also, flexible work schedule indicates that employers trust their employees and this helps boost staff morale and increase job satisfaction.
#Tip 3 Focus on Productivity rather than hours –This is especially true in case of a remote work environment. A lot of companies insist on the same hours and even employ time tracking tools and software to track their employee’s time. This micromanagement of employees may be important when you have a project deadline but does not work in the long run. When employees are working from home, allow them the flexibility to choose their own schedule so it doesn’t interfere with their family life and responsibilities. Focus on the completion of the task rather than counting the hours worked. Some days he may finish early but this can be offset on the days when they put in long hours to complete the task. Micromanaging employees indicate lack of trust and this can have a negative impact on the employee morale.
#Tip 4 Set an example of a Healthy Work life balance enjoyed by management – Employees follow the example of their seniors. Therefore, it is important that managers of the company enjoy a healthy work life balance too. Make sure they’re coming to office on time and leave on time. Instill a culture of taking breaks. Make sure they’re not contacted outside work hours unless it isn’t and they should do the same with their subordinates. Make sure there are no unworkable time scales to deliver work unless it’s urgent.
#Tip 5 Assign workloads wisely –This is a crucial managerial task and it isn’t as simple as it sounds. Every individual is different with different skill sets, IQ levels and capacity. What seems like a small task to one, some other individual might take a full day to complete it? It is important to know your team members well, understand who is capable of what and allocate accordingly. Review workloads to understand who is stressed out, overworked or who has a bit of time to spare. This will help you identify problems and resolve them in time.
#Tip 6 Reconsider Leave Policies – It is important for everybody to take some time off. Sadly, not many people realize it. An effective way to handle this would be to reconsider company leave policies. If there is a policy to carry forward leaves, employees may procrastinate taking time off or may want to accumulate leaves for urgent needs. Set a capping on the number of leaves that can be carried forward and the remainder would lapse. This way most employees would be forced to take time off rather than waste their leaves.
#Tip 7 Consider support for Parents/Caregivers – Often time’s companies lose out on great talent especially mothers as they are unable to care for their small children. The same goes for those who have elderly/ailing parents to care for. Unable to commit to the busy demanding schedule of the corporate life they are often forced to quit working and stay home. Whilesome multinationals have crèche facility to take care of the children while the mothers work, not every company can afford to set up one. Initiatives like maternity/paternity leave, flexible working hours or the freedom to work from home when necessary can help them juggle their personal and professional responsibilities better.
When it comes to creating a better work life balance for your employees, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Every employee is different and so are their needs and desires from life. Some employees may be content working late hours while others who have kids/family back home would prefer to finish off on time so they can get to spend some time with family. The key is to tailor the approaches to each individual so the workers feel a sense of contentment working for you. The result? Not only will the employees be happier and more productive, your company will enjoy goodwill in the market for taking care of its employees and will attract and retain the best talent.