The overall trend in organizations to keep employee turnover rates down is to offer significant programs that provide a work-life balance. A work-life balance is an organizational concept that empowers employees to split time and energy between work and other important areas of their life successfully.
The Work-Life Balance
The overall trend in organizations to keep employee turnover rates down is to offer significant programs that provide a work-life balance. A work-life balance is an organizational concept that empowers employees to split time and energy between work and other important areas of their life successfully. Companies can implement specific work-life practices within their organization to increase morale, productivity and profits.
The starting point for any organization trying to establish work-life practices for their employees is to conduct a survey to gather what important factors are important to improve employees' overall work. Restful Sleep Hotel chain has finished an extensive survey with all of their employees on work-life practices. They are announcing the new practices at the weekly conference. Let's take a look at some examples of how a company can adopt beneficial work-life practices.
Many employees have concerns about childcare while they are working. In addition, more employees are also having the need to care for aging parents as well. Restful Sleep Hotel found that a dependent care program was the most popular request from their employees. This type of program is when a company provides a benefit that gives employees caregiving services with pretax dollars, onsite dependent care or time off to care for family members. Employees can utilize services for children, the elderly or disabled.
John and Joan Smith are married, and both work for the hotel. They have two children who require daycare and are spending close to $1,000 a month. Restful Sleep Hotel announced at the conference that they have decided to offer onsite daycare in a newly-refurbished section of the corporate office. The cost will be free to all employees.
The Smiths are ecstatic with the new daycare option. They also will become more productive since they will be happy knowing that their children are located only one floor down from their offices. The Smiths even have lunch with their children, leading to a big increase in their morale. The Smiths will benefit from the next work-life practice that the hotel is adopting.
Flexible Work Arrangement
The second most requested benefit on the survey to improve work-life balance was in regards to offering a flexible work arrangement, where employees are able to work flexible hours or days instead of a traditional nine-to-five workday. Restful Sleep Hotel recognized the importance of offering this option to improve work-life balance. Many of the employees wanted to work earlier when their kids were in school and be at home in the early afternoon. The hotel announced that employees were able to work one day a week from home and could work flexible hours the other four days.
For example, accountant Dave likes to get to the office by 7 A.M. and be home by 3 P.M. to coach his son's baseball team. As long as employees work eight hours a day, they have the flexibility of choosing their start and finish time. The next benefit that the hotel will offer impacts vacation and personal time.
Leave of Absence/Vacation
Most companies follow the basic state guidelines for vacation or leave time. In order to improve work-life balance, the hotel is improving their absence and vacation policy. Every employee's vacation is increased to three weeks in length, and in addition, there are other opportunities for extended leave. The hotel will continue health benefits and allow employees to take a leave for community service, education or bereavement situations. They also now offer six months paid maternity and paternity leave.
The additional leave and vacation time allows the employees to spend extra time with their families or pursue additional education or community goals. Human resource manager David was thrilled to learn that he will receive paternity leave to spend time with his new baby and wife this year!
Employees also want to be able to continue to grow and improve their overall individual worth.
Restful Sleep Hotel also realized that employees needed assistance in lowering work-life stress. The hotel decided that they will offer onsite education and training to benefit employees. The hotel will offer employees free seminars and training sessions on organization, communication and stress relief to help with their work-life balance. The first few sessions will cover:
- Stress-reducing techniques, with all employees receiving chair massages.
- Corporate office training certification on customer service techniques to help employees continue to grow and learn.
Fitness and Healthy Living
Studies have shown that one way to reduce absenteeism is to promote programs that improve the health and fitness of employees. These types of programs can range from health clinics to additional health benefits and gym memberships. The company plans to build a corporate gym that all employees will be able to use for free. In addition, the company will offer free health clinics such as fall flu shots and blood pressure screenings. Lastly, the company has ordered furniture to benefit employees' posture and comfort.
A work-life balance is an organizational concept that empowers employees to split time and energy between work and other important areas of their life successfully. Companies can implement specific work-life practices within their organization to increase morale, productivity and profits. Some of the programs that companies can create are:
- dependent care
- flexible work arrangements
- flexible work hours
- leave of absence/vacation
- healthy living
- stress reduction and onsite training and education
It is important for companies to survey their employees to see what exact programs will help reduce overall stress and increase productivity.
After you finish this lesson, you should be able to do the following:
- Identify and explain the programs that promote work-life balance concepts in companies
- Restate the types of outcomes that organizations may enjoy due to these implementations