Most employees come to work with the intention of doing a good job, are loyal to their employers and enjoy feeling like they contribute to the success of the organization. When employees are in jobs that fulfill them professionally that commitment increases drastically. But when employers place unreasonable demands on their work force the end result is job dissatisfaction and employee burnout.
It’s a very tender balance to squeeze the most productivity out of employees while nurturing them enough to maintain a healthy work-life balance. It is sometime difficult for employees to balance their work responsibilities with personal responsibilities and commitments because when faced with deciding which takes priority, most employees choose their work responsibilities. When employees feel the squeeze it puts undue stress on them and ultimately causes tension between the two lives that they live. They want to do a good job at work and also have a great personal life but sometimes it is the employer that stands in the way.
When employees are dealing with personal issues, it can be difficult to give their job everything and sometimes it is the job that contributes to issues at home. The challenge comes when a job begins to interfere with home responsibilities. Employees who are asked to work endless hours, travel a high percentage of the time or respond to work issues when not in the office, can get to the point of job burnout. This can result in health issues for the employee and conflict at home.
“In all my years of counseling, those near death I’ve yet to hear anyone say they wish they had spent more time at the office.” Rabbi Kuschner
So as an employer how can you get the most out of employees while helping them balance work and life?
5 Tips for Supporting Employee Work-Life Balance
1. Make it Intentional
There are very few things in life that happen without it being done intentionally or by having a goal to do so. Balancing work and life should be a corporate objective, from the employers perspective, but also a personal goal for employees. If both groups have the same goal, it can’t help but work!
2. Write Policy to Support Balance
Incorporating work-life balance policies within an organization’s culture can be one of the most important steps an employer can take. This sends a message to the employee that their life away from work is as important as their job. For example, a policy may state that employees are not allowed to work X number of hours over 40 for X number of days in a row. In other words, putting limits on overtime and excessive travel.
3. Teach Time Management
Wasted time is one of the biggest productivity thiefs for businesses in that organizations are paying employees for unproductive time because they don’t have good time management skills. Invest in time management training and have managers mentor and coach employees using their own time management techniques as examples.
4. Set the Example
Employees are like children in that most do what they see modeled, not necessarily what they are told to do. Make it a priority for leadership to demonstrate balance in their own lives. This tactic sends a clear message to employees about the importance of balancing work with personal life.
5. Manage Employee Productivity
In addition to time management skills, employees need to understand what is expected of them and have clear employee goals. Create a structured process for managing employee performance to ensure that employees are doing those things that affect organizational strategy.
I heard a wise leader once say, “my career is a marathon and not a sprint so taking the time to rest is a priority for me”.
Employee burnout not only impacts worker productivity but can sadly have an effect on an employee’s personal life. When this happens, marriages become strained, kids begin to act out and the stress can impact an employee’s health. I don’t think there is an organization out there that wants to take responsibility for that. Employers need to think about their most expensive asset and ask the question, “does this work environment contribute to the well being of, or hurt our employees”?
Are your employees burned out?
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