Most employees want a better work-life balance, especially Millennials, who are now the largest generation represented in the workforce. Why should your company implement programs aimed at creating a work-life balance? According to a study by the Society for Human Resource Management, 89% of HR departments reported a marked increase in employee retention due to work-life balance programs. Employees who have a good work-life balance are happier, more productive and more loyal to your company, preventing costly turnover. Here are some ideas, steps and helpful hints for how to properly implement work-life balance at your company.
- Get A Sense Of Your Employees
The first important step is to take account of your employees’ backgrounds and who they are. What kind of work-life benefits do they want, or would benefit them the most? How many of your employees are women, of a minority ethnic group, follow a different religion or have medical concerns, either for themselves or family members? What perks would be nice and feasible to offer your employees, such as financial planning or childcare services? What kinds of people do you want to attract to your organization in the future, especially keeping in mind that increased diversity in the workplace is directly linked to innovation and growth due to different backgrounds bringing something new to the table?
- Know Your Business
How is your business currently organized, and what is the current mindset of the management? Having less open-minded management might make implementation more difficult, for example. What aspects of your business will work well with more flexible employees and what will not? What needs to change for these programs to be a success? What is the culture in your organization like, and how can you improve upon it? Carefully evaluate what systems, procedures, and benefits are currently in place in your organization. Have firm goals in mind of what you plan to accomplish with new work-life programs, as well as a long term plan.
- See What Tasks Can Be Accomplished Remotely
More and more businesses and industries have the capability to work remotely, especially for typical office jobs, due to the implementation of new technologies. You can take advantage of this to allow employees more flexibility while still being productive. Jobs that involve a lot of email and phone work are particularly easy to do remotely. Meetings can be easily had via Skype.
- Give Employees More Control Over Their Schedules
Giving employees more control over their own schedules is a big step in creating workable work-life programs. Of course, there are obvious considerations to make, such as whether or not you’ll have enough people to cover a shift or man the office at certain times. However, keep in mind that your employees are adults and shouldn’t have a manager looking over their shoulder every second of the day. Employees who feel this is happening to them begin to feel irritated and unappreciated, and will eventually leave. Striking the right balance is important, which you should be able to do when you have a solid understanding of how your company runs on a day-to-day basis.
- Be Aware Of What Can Go Wrong
There are many state and federal regulations governing employees, and the implementation of work-life balance programs in your company can overlap with several major laws, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act. For example, men might claim they are being discriminated against in programs or perks aimed at making work arrangements more flexible for women. It might be prudent to consult a business lawyer to look over new proposals to help prevent as many unintended consequences as possible.
- Tell Employees About The New Programs And Ask For Input
Implementing any new program requires that everyone knows about it ahead of time. Listen to what your employees say and take any comments you get seriously. After all, these programs are for their benefit, and if your employees don’t like or take advantage of them, the programs are much more likely to fail. At this step, have a schedule for roll out and be willing to make modifications based on any feedback you receive.
- Implement The Programs
How the programs are implemented will be up to you based on how your business is run and how you feel is best for your company. The advantage of rolling out one aspect at a time is that you can see how each individual program is greeted and works in practice. The other option is to aim to create a platform of programs that all go into effect at the same time to avoid confusion. Utilizing HR software, either one you currently have or one your company looks into buying, can help you keep track of your employees in regards to the new work-life programs.
Implementing work-life balance programs at your business is quickly becoming a necessity in order to properly maintain the health and happiness of your employees. Embracing these programs is also the key to stay competitive as businesses change to adapt to what their employees want and need out of them. Work-life programs will create a culture your company can be proud of, and be of great advantage to your bottom line, once implemented correctly.
About JP George:
JP George grew up in a small town in Washington. After receiving a Master’s degree in Public Relations, JP has worked in a variety of positions, from agencies to corporations all across the globe. Experience has made JP an expert in topics relating to leadership, talent management, and organizational business.