Work life balance has always been a concern of those interested in employee engagement and productivity.
In a fast-paced environment, leaders seek ways to positively impact the bottom line of their organisations by improving employee engagement and retaining talent with valuable skills and knowledge. If you can improve the quality of working life you gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Work life balance is about building and maintaining supportive and healthy work environments, which enable employees to achieve balance between work and personal responsibilities and thereby strengthening employee loyalty and productivity. Research suggests that improvements in people management practices, especially work time and work location flexibility, and the development of supportive management structures and policies, facilitate increased work life balance.
From the top down
To improve work life balance the organisation must harness initiative, involvement and commitment. Leaders must support and encourage all levels of the organisation, including senior management, line managers and all staff, to address the issue.
The Center for Creative Leadership says that “Companies that foster employee well-being – including a culture that supports people’s commitments outside of work – are more productive and profitable. It also gives organisations a greater ability to attract top talent, reduce turnover, and reduce health costs.”
This is reliant on leadership that views employees as assets to be developed rather than as costs to be controlled. Where leadership creates a healthy working environment it drives employee engagement and productivity.
Value good work
At 10Eighty we believe there are three important factors to consider in terms of employee well-being:
- Employees want to be recognised and valued for good work. When they feel that their role is a good fit with their abilities and strengths it boosts motivation.
- They appreciate a positive relationship where they are paid fairly and have a sense of control over their work life balance and prefer a level of autonomy over the way they perform their jobs in an inclusive environment.
- They want to be enabled to develop their skills and knowledge so that they maintain their employability and learning to the benefit of their ongoing career.
As with anything that makes a real difference there is no one-size fits solution here. Work life balance means different things to different people. If you are not sure what your employees value most try asking them. Concentrate time and resources on policies that will make a tangible difference but remember to review your policies regularly to ensure your team maintains a healthy work life balance.
Consulting firm Gallup found that “When people feel inspired, motivated and supported in their work, they do more work – and that work is significantly less stressful on their overall health and well-being.”
Finally, leaders need to practice what they preach; achieving improved employee engagement and work life balance will lead to a more successful business.
10Eighty are supporting national work life week 2023