Is There A Balance?
1.Stick to contractual hours
When the requirement for a new employee becomes apparent, contractual hours are set to ensure the work is completed but that a balance is maintained. When an employee works over and above these hours, particularly in the case where no overtime is paid, this contract is breached. The wind down at home or in a social setting away from the workplace is as important for productivity as time in the workplace. Therefore, ensure that all employees are working only their contractual hours and that if the work is not completed within this time that a recruitment campaign is held or a temporary employee is used to deal with the high workload.
2.Encourage employees to take on hobbies
Your employees are less likely to leave work on time if they have no plans for that evening. Encourage your employees to have activities out of the workplace. Send out a weekly email with local events that may be of interest. If you have a large number of employees, consider setting up organisational clubs, such as a pub quiz team or pool competitions.
3.Hold family fun days
Encourage family time by running family fun days. These could be at the weekend to avoid work disruption. All proceeds could be charity based and a range of activities could be included to appeal to all the family. This will also increase organisational commitment and give the organisation publicity in the local community.
4.Understand why people are working longer hours
If the same person is always the first to arrive and the last to leave, try and understand why this is the case. Is their role too demanding for them or are they too quick to accept added responsibility? Is there something at home that they are escaping from? Get to the root of the problem. If the problem is an organisational one, look to why this is occurring and how you can make changes to ensure the problem does not persist. If the problem is a personal one, assist the employee in finding external help.
5.Set achievable targets
Targets are set to challenge and stretch employees, encouraging them to increase their productivity and performance. However, if targets are beyond a challenge and are actually impossible to reach, the opposite will be the case. The employee will work longer hours in an effort to reach that target, resulting in a work/life imbalance and eventually burn out. Ensure when targets are set that they are specific to the individual and, while challenging, are attainable with effort. Ensure when these targets are reached that a praise and reward is given.
6.Consider flexible working
Regardless of personal circumstances, we have all come across the situation of needing to be somewhere else while in work hours or having to rush home at the end of the day for a prior engagement. Providing the option of flexible working hours ensures that employees are still completing their contractual hours, but at the times they decide. This could be arriving and leaving work earlier or later, or having a longer or shorter lunch break. Giving employees this freedom will enable them to gain some balance with their personal life and help increase their commitment to you their employer, while still getting their work completed.
7.Run Time Management courses
Time Management courses are very popular within organisations, and it is easy to see why. An employee who manages their time effectively is more likely to avoid overtime and burn out, and maintain a balance with their personal life, as well as increasing their own productivity. If your organisation has not yet run these courses, consider doing so. If you have, there may be certain individuals you can identify as needing a refresher or a more intense course.
8.Be fair to all
We all have differing personal situations. Some employees will be married with a large family, while others may be single with no children. Regardless of personal circumstance, it is essential that the same rules apply to all. It is unfair to allow flexible working for those with children and not for those without, or allowing time off to a single parent when their child is ill but not a married parent. Further, do not expect those who do not have a family to work longer hours in the belief they have nothing to rush home for. A fair employer will gain much more respect from their employees, with the results being evident in their work.
Helping your employees maintain a work/life balance will not only benefit them, but also the organisation. For assistance in getting to the route of organisation-wide issues, contact the Personnel Surveys team now.