If maintaining a healthy work-life balance is difficult for you as a business owner, your employees may well have the same challenge, which could negatively impact their productivity and engagement.
According to the ADP Research Institute's recent report, Fixing the Talent Management Disconnect, employees are much more concerned about work-life balance than many employers expect. For instance, 37 percent of all employees say work hours that fit their needs is a top reason to stay with their current employer, and more than 70 percent of employees expect to be able to disconnect when they leave work.
Encouraging your employees to find their ideal work-life balance and giving them the flexibility and resources to do so may help them stay engaged and productive at work — and lead healthier lives overall. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can help promote a positive work-life balance in your workplace.
1. Offer Flexible Paid Time Off ...
Rather than sticking to an archaic leave policy that gives employees a set number of sick days, vacation days and personal days, restructure it to offer general paid time off (PTO). That way, you're giving employees discretion to make their own decisions about when and how to use their PTO. When doing this ensure that you're offering enough PTO to stay compliant with the law. Certain cities and states, such as Massachusetts, require employers to provide a certain amount of sick leave.
2. ... And Encourage Employees to Use It!
Make sure your employees understand your PTO policy, and never make them feel guilty for taking the time off to which they are entitled. Encourage employees to plan ahead before taking a PTO day so you don't have to contact them while they are out of the office. Remember that employees who take time off from work will often perform better and be more energized when they return.
3. Incorporate Exercise at Work
Finding time to be physically active is often difficult for adults, but being active and fit can help keep your employees healthier, more energetic and more productive. Encourage them to find ways to be active during the workday; for instance, you or an employee might start a before-work running club or a lunch-break walking group. You could also encourage employees to take an exercise class together, or bring in an instructor to teach a class.
4. Offer Flexible Scheduling
For many people, the stress of life comes from the pressures of taking care of others — for example, children or elderly parents whose schedules don't necessarily cooperate with traditional working hours. By granting employees the freedom of flexible scheduling, you can help them better manage those demands. For instance, one employee may need to come in early to be able to leave in time to pick up children from school, while another may need to come in late to give her time to check on an elderly parent each morning.
5. Provide Flexible Work Options
Sometimes, a good employee simply isn't available to work in your location 40 hours a week. In those cases, consider other options such as telecommuting, job sharing or part-time work. Your willingness to be creative and flexible to help employees attain work-life balance can help win you loyalty and increase engagement.
For more tips on how to promote a healthy workplace, read our interview with two small business owners who share some smart advice about how employers can encourage employee wellness by leading by example.
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