In the last employer blog, I talked about how to keep your employee’s. Some very basic solutions were offered in that blog, but I do want to delve deeper into the subject. In the past five years, as companies were trying to stay afloat, employees needed to adapt, work longer hours and take on extra work. Most employees were worried about keeping their jobs during this time so they complained very little about the extra work. Now that the economy in Alberta is better and jobs are on the rise, people are looking at other alternatives. It is time to re-evaluate your employee engagement. There are many aspects to employee engagement which we will explore in future blogs. Today, we will focus on Work-Life Balance.
What can you do as an employer to improve the work/life balance of your staff? Why is work/life balance important? Studies have shown that when employees are stressed absenteeism and disability costs will go up. A healthy work environment can also provide a competitive edge over other employers in hiring and retention of workers. From a bottom line prospective, it makes sense to ensure that our employees are happy and engaged. Below are two strategies to help improve the balance of work and life in your office.
- Job Sharing is usually offered to women who are balancing young children and their desire to work outside of the home. But many people are also considering job sharing in order to care for elderly parents or a desire to spend more time on leisurely activities. Both employees that share the job must be able to work together without actually working at the same time. However the scenario plays out (mornings/afternoons or alternating days) communication and the ability to manage tasks is imperative. Each employee will bring different strengths to the table. If that is recognized by the management team, it can work exceptionally well for the company.
- Telecommuting has grown in acceptance over the past few years. When it is feasible, telecommuting can offer a very beneficial relationship between the employer and the employees. Besides the obvious benefits which include not requiring work space, the employee spending less time traveling to and from work, and less fuel consumption, this option can benefit both parties in many other ways. For example, when employees can complete their work around their home commitments, they are less distracted when they are actually working which will improve their productivity and reduce their desire to look for work that will accommodate their hectic schedules. This in turn will allow them the ability to drive their kids to school, take their parents/family to medical appointments and so much more. Now, telecommuting is not for everyone. It takes a particular type of person to work at home and not be distracted by their home life. Deadlines need to be set, core work hours should be established and regular check-in calls should be completed. In order for this to be truly effective there has to be trust between the two parties.
Although these are two options that are growing in popularity, it is not for every company. Evaluate what your employees desires are compared to the needs of the company. Start with a trial if need be and then re-evaluate to see if the solution works for all involved.
What does your company do to help with employee work-life balance?