How a Poor Work-Life Balance Can Make You Lose Your Best Employees

Your employees are your most important business asset. Especially in today’s candidate-controlled job market, they’re a priceless commodity that you can’t afford to lose – nor do you want to. Have you stopped to consider how important it is for them to maintain balance between their work and their personal lives? Is it important to you? Because it should be – and, as a business leader, you need to foster a culture of work/life balance throughout your organization.

It all comes down to stress.

Employees who lack work/life balance experience an unhealthy level of stress, which can contribute to more family conflicts, relationship issues, and physical and mental health problems. Not surprisingly, their work performance also suffers. Engagement, creativity and productivity plummet and in the long run, turnover increases.

  • According to one recent study, 72 percent of employees reported they were not entirely happy with their work/life balance. Their employers should view this as a not-subtle cry for change.
  • In a survey of 83 percent of Fortune 1000 companies, employees who felt in control of their work/life balance said they effectively worked harder than those who lacked this level of comfort. In this case, working harder doesn’t mean working more or working longer. It means getting your job done and achieving successful outcomes within the parameters of your normal workday. These employees likely aren’t going anywhere, as they’ve found what they need and will remain loyal to their employers.

Keep your team healthy and happy.

In yet another study, 24 percent of employees reported a negative impact on their health as a result of excessively long work hours. And medical experts have conceded that over time, work-related fatigue and stress can contribute to numerous conditions including cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and stress and anxiety. Of course, increased absenteeism and turnover go hand in hand with this dark picture.

  • Find out exactly which aspects of their work are causing employees to work unreasonable hours or otherwise be stressed out about their jobs, and then work with them on a plan of corrective action. You will both be happier and your company will be stronger as a result.

Here are a few ideas to help your employees maintain work/life balance:

  • Allow people to work from home or other remote locations.
  • Be flexible in scheduling. As long as performance expectations are met, make it okay for a person to come in a little later, leave a little earlier, or take an extended lunch break to accommodate their personal needs.
  • Restrict how many hours are expected of an employee in a given week. If a person cannot get their work done within the allotted time, have another conversation to find out why and what can be done.
  • Encourage all employees to use their vacation time. Consider giving extra days as a bonus for achieving a critical goal or to celebrate a milestone.
  • Set the right example. If top management projects behavior that signifies work/life balance, it will have a positive effect throughout your company.

For more ideas on retaining your best employees and keeping your entire workforce happy, loyal and productive, turn to the talent management experts at TRC Professional Solutions. Read our related posts or contact us today for more information.