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Managers – Stop Trying To Sell Work/Life Balance As A Benefit
A healthy work life balance – for many employees this is the holy grail of job contentment; and claiming to offer a good one has become one of the first promises most companies make when trying to attract new talent. In a previous blog we discussed how to succesfully implement agile working, which is key to helping your employees balance their work with their life. But as a manager, how can you ensure that this promise is a reality and not a myth sold to new employees and forgotten about as soon as things get busy?
Firstly, stop trying to sell it as a benefit.
A healthy work/life balance shouldn’t be seen as a treat, only available to a select few, or achievable once you’ve reached a certain managerial level, it should be the norm in your company, a reality any employee can achieve. In order to realize this you have to practice what you preach – set an example yourself and don’t answer emails on the weekend, glue yourself to your desk or micromanage your employees. In order for flexible working to happen successfully your employees need to know you trust them to work their full set hours and get their job done without having to clock in and out. They need to feel secure enough to leave at 4pm if they started at 8am or to pop out for a dentist appointment without having to make an excuse. If they don’t, a cultural shift in the office needs to happen and this can only come from the top.
In order to implement this shift in culture try treating your employees as you would your customers. Think of them as your most important asset, respecting their decisions and taking their opinions and feedback seriously. The best work doesn’t always happen in the office and that needs to be understood by everyone. Once your employees feel confident enough to utilise the full scope of flexible working they’ll feel like their work and life can fit around each other, meaning they work more productively when they are working and can switch off completely when they aren’t. Furthermore, respecting your employees will increase their respect in you making them brand ambassadors of your business, promoting the company’s respect for a healthy work/life balance to other people. Thereby further strengthening your message and helping you attract more talent.