There’s an old saying “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Not to mention Jill, a dull girl. And dull workers means low productivity and unhappy clients. Low productivity and unhappy clients mean a sad bottom line. There is a link between too much work and a variety of stress related illnesses that sap workers’ vitality, making them more prone to errors on the job, absenteeism, burnout and turnover. But how do you keep your staff happy, productive and mentally engaged? Supporting the ideal work/life balance is critical, and that support must come from the top. Employees can work themselves sick trying to prove they are worthy of advancement or simply continued employment if there have been staff reductions in the company. Company leaders need to set a good example of work/life balance and make sure their employees know they are expected to do the same.
Tip: Set priorities for all work. When you are vague in your expectations, employees can fall into the trap of overworking and neglecting other areas of their life to get everything done at once. Setting priorities
Keep your staff upskilled
An employee who is not able to use new software or machinery efficiently can find themselves working longer hours to get the work done. Training on how to use the new piece of equipment could, not only save you time and money through better productivity but will give you a happier employee. Don’t confine your training to equipment. Train your team leaders and managers to recognise overwork and burn out. When they are trained, team leaders can soon recognise increasing error rates, absenteeism and signs of stress-related burnout more easily than anyone else in the organisation and act accordingly. Remember, employees who have let their work/life balance get out of hand are often unable to correct it themselves and need help. Scheduling a seminar on the importance of work/life balance can help get the message across to your employees that their work/life balance is important to you as an employer. Employees can feel guilty about taking holidays or sick leave especially if there have been staff layoffs, or they have heard the business is facing some challenges. Make it clear to your staff that taking holidays or sick leave is important – not just for their own health but for the health of the whole business. Some companies allow employees to take days off for community service. This has a double advantage in that it helps businesses fulfill their corporate responsibility commitments while encouraging their staff to take time out for other mentally rejuvenating activities.
Be proactive in promoting work-life balance in your workplace
Consider what you can offer as part of an employment contract. Many workers now look at these benefits as much as, if not more than, the dollar value of their contract. The old Manukau City Council had a regular weekly on-site massage programme – part of an award-winning programme managed by their health & safety manager. Michelle Le Gassick from onsite massage specialists LiVevo said this was becoming increasingly popular. “Companies either pay for it or allow employees time off to receive a
By Angelique Jurd. Reproduced for educational purposes.