Many employees are living such a competitive fast paced lifestyle that they often do not take a moment to step back and realise how their lives outside work are being affected. Further to the results of a recent survey by Brookman Solicitors which revealed that 63% of individuals planned to change or improve an aspect of their life in 2018 which included looking for a new job, and with Healthy Body, Happy Me Week taking place on 5th-9th March, here are 5 ways in which HR teams can help promote a better work-life balance, not only helping to ensure that employees remain happy, healthy and productive, but also making sure your best talent remains loyal to your organisation!
Encourage Staff to Indulge in Some ‘Me Time’
Many of your best employees will be constantly aiming for perfection at work, but this behaviour, although carried out with the best intentions, can leave little time for themselves. If staff are experiencing conflict in relationships due to an unhealthy balance between work and life, it will eventually result in a drop in motivation, performance and they may even feel leave the organisation if the situation becomes ‘make or break’ and a complete relationship breakdown is on the cards. This is why it is important for HR to disseminate positive internal communications that help staff remember they do have a life outside work and that this is as valuable as what they do during working hours. A healthy work life balance boosts employees’ moods and gives many that much needed break and stress release, subsequently increasing their productivity and effectiveness at work which ultimately benefits your organisation.
Enforce Digital Downtime
With 24/7 communication and the use of technology ever more prominent in modern business life it is important your workforce allocate time to tap out of technology into their schedules in order to give their minds a much needed rest. If staff are continually working through lunch breaks, responding to emails via their personal devices late at night or at weekends and constantly responding to requests and queries during their designated holidays, it could be time for HR to intervene and find ways to help those employees to take some much needed digital downtime. Simple actions such encouraging staff to go for a walk at lunchtime or encouraging ‘digital breaks’ during the working day will help add technology-free periods into their working day.
Whilst this may seem an obvious factor in the modern workplace, flexibility is still an area of concern for many employees. Far from just covering flexi-time, part-time or virtual working requests, many employees have personal circumstances which require a degree of flexibility to enable them to fulfill their commitments both inside and outside of work. Whether that’s ageing parents that need occasional extended lunch time visits to attend to, or a children’s first nativity that requires an hour out of work in the middle of the afternoon, to an unexpected family sickness or bereavement, it is important to create a culture where employees feel there is flexibility in their working schedule to avoid them missing out on key life moments and responsibilities. If employees feel they work in an understanding workplace they are more likely to be loyal to your organisation, and give much more back in terms of productivity, increased moral and longevity of service.
Ensure Employees Take Their Annual Leave
Everyone deserves a break from work, but there are always those employees who don’t seem to take all of their annual leave, nor seem that concerned about trying to use it up. Whilst this may seem a bonus for the organisation in terms of reduced down days days due to staff leave, in the long term, this is likely to have a negative effect on the employee, particularly if it is a sign that they have an unhealthy work-life balance. HR teams should proactively encourage employees to take all of their annual leave to ensure they have sufficient rest and recuperation time. Staff who have time to rest often return from leave re-energised and full of new ideas for ways to improve processes and efficiency, simply by having that crucial time out.
Implement Time Management Skills Training
One of the biggest causes of stress in the workplace is poor time management, which is why it is important for HR teams to actively ensure that appropriate training in time management is provided to all employees. Equipping staff with the skills they need to better manage their time, and managers to better manage the time of their teams, will result in a much more productive and less stressed workforce, whilst also promoting a better work-life balance and a reduction in instances of working late to catch up with excessive workloads. Prevention is key, and appropriate time management training as part of the induction process for new employees could help to embed a new organisational culture which focuses on effective time and task management and helps reduce the risks of employee burnout due to overworking.