The Benefits of Work/Life Support
If you’re looking for a healthy, productive workforce, then it’s time to start thinking about work/life balance. With more and more employees balancing work with family responsibilities or other non-work commitments, it’s imperative that employers help them balance these commitments by providing flexible hours or remote working opportunities and supporting career development outside of work so they can have a balanced life.
According to Dr. Jordan Sudberg, employee engagement is a key factor in determining company performance. Studies have shown that when employees are engaged at work, they are more likely to flourish – they become more productive, innovative, creative, and able to work successfully as a team. Employee engagement can positively impact the bottom line by increasing productivity.
As Sudberg points out, many employers have discovered over the last few years that when employees aren’t engaged in their jobs, and their productivity suffers, the company will suffer too. The dollars lost in not getting work done and in having to replace employees who are unhappy and unproductive can hurt the bottom line.
The key to keeping employees engaged is allowing them to balance work with the other aspects of their lives, which can be difficult when companies expect employees to be totally committed at all times. There are many reasons why employees may need support for work/life balance and the ability to work from home or have flexible hours.
But, Sudberg believes that the greatest predictor of employee engagement is the extent to which employers offer flexibility in managing their workforce. If an employee has a childcare issue or needs to take care of a sick child, they may not show up at work, and if they’re needed elsewhere in the organization, the employer should be able to work around that.
“This flexibility can be invaluable,” said Sudberg. “If people feel like they have a choice in how things are arranged, they will respond accordingly. Being able to contribute to your family life is an important factor in employee engagement.”
Dr. Jordan Sudberg also noted that studies show that when employers provide flexibility, it has a significant positive impact on the corporate environment.
- Diversity – When employers clearly communicate their policies and offer flexible work arrangements, it can positively affect the number of women and minorities who apply for jobs at those organizations. And if companies can provide childcare or alternative work arrangements when someone needs them, they increase retention of both women and minorities.
- Employee well-being – When an employee feels that they have a choice in how work is managed and who does it, this can positively affect overall employee well-being. It increases levels of job satisfaction and reduces turnover among both genders and minorities.
- Employee Retention – Companies that provide flexible work arrangements for their employees are more likely to retain them than those that don’t.
The bottom line is that it’s essential that employers begin looking at work/life balance programs as part of their overall strategy to increase worker productivity and engagement while reducing turnover. In addition to the overall benefit of having a healthy workforce, it’s also a good way to increase employee diversity.