Employers have the opportunity to improve work-life balance for their employees and increase productivity at the same time. Using the resources that employers have at their disposal to change work conditions may seem counterproductive, but they are effective.
Offer More Employee Control
Traditionally, employers set all of the parameters concerning jobs. Keeping all of the control, however, augments stress on employees. Simply offering employees more control over their lives and establishing better work life balance will help alleviate this stress. Studies show that employee control actually increases loyalty and productivity. There are many ways to offer employees control, and we will go over some of them in detail in a later module.
Ways to offer control:
These are just a few examples of employee control. Anything that empowers an employee to take charge of his or her life offers employee control.
Ask Employees for Suggestions
Employees have some of the best ideas on how to improve their jobs and the company as a whole. These ideas, however, are not always communicated. Many employees do not feel that people in management care and most managers do not have the time to sit down with each employee. The best way to hear about new, innovative ideas is to create an employee suggestion program.
Make it simple: Create a simple process for giving suggestions; complicated rules do not encourage creativity.
Respond: Let employees know that you have their suggestions and will consider them.
Thank: Thank each employee who gives a suggestion, even if they are suggestions you do not use.
Reward: Employees who come up with useful suggestions need to be rewarded.
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
Given the unavoidable stress of life, most people face times when they need assistance. EAPs provide employees access to counseling and other services. Without the aid of EAP counselors, the effects of stress can spiral out of control. Employee assistance programs give individuals the opportunity to seek help and learn the skills necessary to improve their work life balance.
Typical EAP Topics:
EAPs are useful investments because they prevent turnover and reduce absences as the teach strategies for work life balance.
Reward Your Staff
This may seem basic, but rewarding your staff is an effective method for promoting work-life balance. Employees who feel appreciated are more confident, and rewards reinforce the behavior you want to see repeated. Rewards can also provide breaks that reduce stress. Rewards do not have to break the bank. There are simple ways to thank your employees for their service.
Public acknowledgement of service
Extra time off
More About Work-Life Balance
Benefits of a Healthy Work-life Balance
Signs of a Work-life Imbalance
Tips in Time Management for Work-life Balance
Goal Setting to Improve Work-life Balance
Optional Ways to Work
Work-life Balance At Work
Work-life Balance At Home
Stress Management for Work-life Balance
Work-life Balance for Working in a Home Office