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5 Ways to Promote Work/Life Balance that will Improve Employee Engagement

Posted 03/15/22

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The tight grasp of the Great Resignation is still holding on and creating chaos in the world of business. Employees are over-worked, exhausted, and ready to jump ship. Employers are struggling to retain employees, dealing with product shortages, and paying more than ever before. As inflation grows at a rapid pace, how can a small business owner keep up? The buzz-phrase “Work/Life Balance might just be what it takes to get the workforce train back on track. How can Work Life Balance Impact Employee Engagement and why does it matter?

What is Work/Life Balance

The Dictionary defines Work Life Balance as the amount of time you spend doing your job compared with the amount of time you spend with your family and doing things you enjoy. It seems simple, right? Wrong. The American public has been living in a world of hustle culture since the evolution of the internet. It is extremely easy to mix our home and work lives.

Checking emails during your kid’s soccer practice, making a quick call on the way to a doctor’s appointment, or scanning a proposal in-between working out and getting the kids to school. As a society there is simply too much gray area when it comes to work and life. Some people even ask Google things like, “Does Work/Life Balance Exist”, is Work Life Balance real” and is it really achievable.

Is Work/Life Balance Real?

When life feels chaotic, busy, and stressful it is a logical question to ask. Looking back to our world before technology, life was far simpler. Think about it this way, before electric people would be wakened by the sunrise and retreat to home before sunset. Dinner would be the bodies signal to settle in for some rest. The next day they would rise and do it again while enjoying the simple pleasures of life. It can be done.

How Everyone Benefits from Work Life Balance

Employees and employers alike are living stressful, unsatisfying, and unbalanced lives. Its might be time to recalibrate our active lifestyles and welcome more peace into our lives with open arms. Its not just good for mental health and well-being, its also great for the bottom line.

Employee Benefits

When an employee is Engaged, Happy and Balanced they tend to experience increased productivity, lower absenteeism, increased positive perception the employer and great loyalty to the company.

Employer Benefits

Improved moral, better teamwork and communication, reduction in turnover, increased employee commitment and accountability.

5 Ways to promote Work/Life Balance that will improve Employee Engagement

Work/Life Balance is not a goal, or a task to checkoff your list.  It is a lifelong commitment and a way of life. It all starts by Creating a Work Environment that supports balance. This may be harder than it sounds because of how long we have been accepting the unwritten rule around being “on call” all the time. Or the old story that being good at your job requires hard work and long hours. That simply is not the case anymore, but it starts with slowly unraveling the layers of unrealistic expectations.

1) Leave Work at Work: Managers oftentimes set the tone for the department. If your boss is always emailing you at 6a and 10pm, being a good employee, a person might feel the need to reply immediately. Set the story straight. Explain to the team why you reach out at those times and the expectation is to respond during their working hours. Employees will thank you.

2) Even Steven… A plan to Work when Needed: In today’s modern workforce business can happen at all hours of the day and night. Most employees are okay with working an occasionally during the night and weekends. Don’t punish them for over-achieving, reward them with your commitment to bridging work and life by being more flexible.

  • If possible, cut out a few hours early on Friday
  • Be understanding when an employee has personal appointments and obligations.
  • Don’t make the employee feel guilty if occasionally they need to come in late or leave early.
  • Offer an opportunity to work remote if possible

3) Invest in Leadership Training for Managers: In this new world the “Command and Control” management style in about an outdated as using Yahoo as your primary search engine. The modern workforce has different priorities and managers need to learn to speak their language. At the end of the day most people still want to do a good job, free appreciated and invested in. When they feel good, it will extend their time with the company.

4)     Enhance Employee Training : A study by Manchester Consulting Group found that additional employee training led to an ROI of nearly six times the cost of the training program. Not only that, but the study also found that there was a 67% increase in teamwork and a 48% increase in quality.

5)     Invest in Your Employees Well-being: This is an area that is oftentimes overlooked. Employee well-being and work/life balance are the bedrocks of employee engagement. Give employees and opportunity to slow down and block out time for deep work and concentration. Consider offering an “Employee Assistance Program” as a free benefit. These services can help with grief, mental health, financial-wellness and healthy living.

Employee Engagement boils down to mutual commitment between employee and employer. It goes back to the old rule of treating people how you want to be treated. If you want loyal employees, show up and be loyal to them. If you want employees continue to work for you, how can you make their lives better, not worse.

Employees are longing for a sense of community, more empathy, and a supportive work environment. Even if you are not in the same building its imperative to stay connected with employees. Using a digital platform to stay connected throughout the employee life cycle can help the employee feel engaged and supported. Developing a strong plan and creating a supportive culture that encourages work life balance will lead to a happier, healthier, and more engaged employees.

If you need help making a culture shift or getting started with a digital platform to engage your employees, the experts at AlignHR can show you how work/life balance can impact employee engagement for the better.

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