How Employer Should Enable Employees to Achieve Work-life Balance
Jack Welch said “there is no such thing as work-life balance. There are work-life choices and you make them, and they have consequences”. True, there can’t be a magical code to work-life balance that can help in allocating exactly the right amount of time to all the competing demands in your life. Perpetually, life is all about making choices – and the choices are up to you. Throughout the course of our lives, we all tend to deal with different situations and our priorities evolve accordingly. Each time our focus will shift and we are bound to take unusual course of action resulting into affected work-life balance. The myth about work-life balance is that spending 50% of time at work and rest 50% of time at home. However, Work-life balance, is a totally different thing to achieve and if you are an employer, it’s even more difficult to aid your employees to achieve the same. Work-Life balance is not about organizing your schedule and giving every part of your life equal time. It's about feeling a sense of accomplishment and control. It's about making choices that are aligned with the time and circumstances of your life. It's about living life in a way that makes you feel happy, rewarded and fulfilled both emotionally and monetarily. The catch is to find the gap between the realistic and the unrealistic approach. The missing link is: Emotions. The behavioural sciences depicts that emotions outdoes the logic and reason. Unfortunately organizations today lack attributes that stimulate emotions.
- How readily people will challenge themselves and break their comfort level?
- How comfortable are people in working with diverse colleagues and innovative ideas?
- How willing are people to support a larger objective of the company even if it makes their own lives a bit difficult?
- How easily do people come together for company-specific challenges and opportunities?By getting answers to these questions you can jot down an outline of deriving a goal-set that must serve both the needs of your company and those of your employees. Where goals must contribute directly to your short and long-term business strategies, they should also be aligned with the personal goals of the employees. The goals must be unambiguous, attainable, and understandable else the workforce will soon become disengaged.See how Goal Congruency among employee and organization can lead to bridging the gap between realistic and unrealistic approach to work-life balance:
- Become responsive to change: Today, an organization needs to become responsive to change in an ever fluctuating world. Organizations have to create an environment which supports individual learning and goals. Employees want to see how their work contributes to larger corporate goals and to make sure that they are contributing managers should be capable of setting out goals to help their subordinates to understand where they fit in the overall organization. Managers need to understand their role in helping their subordinates to set and achieve goals. Along with setting clear goals, a manager also needs to provide regular feedback while attaining their input on their performance and motivating them to achieve more.
- Provide support unbiasedly: Often it has been observed that managers give all the support to the employees who perform outstandingly. A manger may be giving feedback both consciously and unconsciously, and unaware of the messages they are giving their employees through their behaviours. As the Pygmalion Effect perceives that a manger’s expectations definitely influence an employees’ performance. And it is very likely that the employees who are performing well will keep on doing so as against employees who are not performing as expected. So, the managers should raise the bar with all of their employees and act in a supportive manner. Managers or team leaders should give open and honest feedback identifying things the employee has done well and have the employee involved in an improvement plan to address areas of concern.
- Create an environment conducive to employees: It is said that “if you think you know everything, the process of learning stops for you”. An organization can only become learning organization when every individual is willing to learn. The earlier models of promotions never considered employee’s self-actualization. Thus the earlier environment of these organizations created a lot dissatisfaction. Need is to create an environment which is healthy for the employees in a way that everyone can communicate openly as people feel respected when they are listened. With this you can develop your organizational culture and thus a strong foundation of a learning & growing organization.