Work- life balance is essential to combat stress, ensuring both individual and company success. The stress associated with unbalanced lifestyles is costly; it damages productivity and increases individual health risks. Employees who have the tools to balance their professional and personal lives are happier, healthier, and more productive.
In addition to improving performance, many younger employees place a high value on work-life balance. Companies that include work-life balance as part of their culture will be able to better attract qualified candidates.
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Employers have the opportunity to improve work-life balance for their employees and increase productivity at the same time. Using the resources that employers have at their disposal to change work conditions may seem counterproductive, but they are effective.
Traditionally, employers set all of the parameters concerning jobs. Keeping all of the control, however, augments stress on employees. Simply offering employees more control over their lives and establishing better work life balance will help alleviate this stress. Studies show that employee control actually increases loyalty and productivity. There are many ways to offer employees control, and we will go over some of them in detail in a later module.
Ways to offer control:
· Flex time
· Job sharing
These are just a few examples of employee control. Anything that empowers an employee to take charge of his or her life offers employee control.
Employees have some of the best ideas on how to improve their jobs and the company as a whole. These ideas, however, are not always communicated. Many employees do not feel that people in management care and most managers do not have the time to sit down with each employee. The best way to hear about new, innovative ideas is to create an employee suggestion program.
· Make it simple: Create a simple process for giving suggestions; complicated rules do not encourage creativity.
· Respond: Let employees know that you have their suggestions and will consider them.
· Thank: Thank each employee who gives a suggestion, even if they are suggestions you do not use.
· Reward: Employees who come up with useful suggestions need to be rewarded.
Given the unavoidable stress of life, most people face times when they need assistance. EAPs provide employees access to counselling and other services. Without the aid of EAP counsellors, the effects of stress can spiral out of control. Employee assistance programs give individuals the opportunity to seek help and learn the skills necessary to improve their work life balance.
Typical EAP Topics:
· Personal crisis
· Work stress
EAPs are useful investments because they prevent turnover and reduce absences as the teach strategies for work life balance.....