In a highly digital world amidst a health crisis, the importance of having the space to pursue fulfillment and purpose has been further underscored. Workers aim to achieve more than monetary compensation–they want to become better individuals with new skills and realized passions. This change in dynamics drives the workplace to adapt and provide a conducive environment to have a fully engaged employee who keeps bringing out their best efforts without experiencing burnout. While this seems like shooting for the stars, this is actually possible by employing sufficient measures to promote work-life balance.
It is imperative that organization leaders have a good understanding of work-life balance and why it is important. Knowing and talking about it is obviously not enough. There should be actionable steps to work towards it especially now when the lines between work and personal life is being blurred with the rise of work-from-home set-up.
There are many articles that aim to define work-life balance but it is a continuously-evolving concept, adapting to generational needs and the fact that it is something personal. Various factors must be taken into consideration such as health conditions, relationships, and even personality types among others. Though, if there is any common denominator from among the many thoughts about work-life balance, it is fostering a sustainable way of working by reducing work-related stress and putting the overall wellbeing of the employee as top priority. This requires ample research since proper employee development contains a plan on how to avoid burnout. The measures to be taken should not be only based on what the leaders want but on what the employees say.
Most people describe work-life balance as a practice that would allow employees to be present in the moment with enough bandwidth to think, make a bigger impact at work and in their communities, have firm boundaries that they don’t feel guilty about, and prioritize what is important to them. In essence, work-life balance should empower them to be content in everything they do. It is not something that can be spoon fed but only created by oneself with the support of the workplace.
Unfortunately, the current state of the workplace is not particularly sound as workers have become actively disengaged and unfulfilled with their roles according to studies. They require a deeper connection to their company and look for more than just a tap on the back to know that they did all right. Some of the companies therefore employ different means and programs to help them achieve work-life balance. This includes online learning courses, professional development stipends, and other services that can aid them manage stress. There are also new notable benefits given to the modern worker such as mental health support, flexible work arrangements, family leave, etc. The thought process behind such innovations start from the drive of aligning personal and company values and goals. It is also important to remember that positivity starts by caring for your employees during a tough time and thus requires leaders to be more empathetic.
Clear and consistent communication is needed for employees to absorb the company’s key priorities and their respective objectives to efficiently manage performance. Doing this will allow employees to link their work to the growth of the company, making them feel belonged and fulfilled. A healthy company culture would also have leaders who regularly check in with their employees personally at least once a week to exude a sense of transparency and concern. This will let employees know that they can ask for help whenever they need and give relevant feedback, fostering a safe space to be honest about personal and professional experiences. Empowering employees to show their most authentic selves can drive the company to higher heights as they will be comfortable to actively contribute, voice out, and be present every time. Moreover, businesses should also start to consider involving their employees with noble causes and maneuvering the whole organizational culture to promote collaboration, achievement, and enthusiasm.
Work-life balance pushes for co-creation of new norms and rules. To accomplish this, you must focus on understanding and attending to the needs of your workforce to unlock significant engagement. It is crucial to always remember that they are human beings who can make mistakes and carry negative traits. While the company’s KPIs are of high importance, the employees remain as the most valuable asset any organization can ever have. Therefore, do not always be so hard on them and take the initiative to ask how to help them improve their performance.
Making work-life balance attainable for every employee is no guessing game. Plan with your HR on how to get feedback from them as often as possible. You can also consider setting up a suggestion box to know how to make things better from your employees’ perspective. Since work-life balance is continuously evolving, planning and working on it would be a constant challenge for companies. Still, it will certainly foster a positive employee experience in the long run especially when they know that their leaders are actively looking for ways to help them be the best version of themselves.
Guest Post by Regi Publico of Regi Publico blogging