Why should employers concern themselves with this issue? A willingness to work with employees in developing solutions for work-life challenges demonstrates their value and importance to the organization and can often mean the difference between retaining and losing talented staff.
The following statistics illustrate how much of a priority work-life balance has become to today’s workforce:
- A Gallup Poll found that 90% of employees say work-life benefits are as important to them as health insurance.
- 60% of employees surveyed in a Work/Family Directions Study said the key reason they accepted their current position was its effect on their personal/family life.
- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, mothers of preschool children represent the fastest growing segment of the workforce.
Companies that want to attract and retain the best talent are increasingly recognizing that it is a good business decision to help employees find the balance they seek.
How can employers address this issue? Open communication between managers and employees about the company’s business priorities and the employee’s personal priorities are key. The next step is to work together to ensure both sets of priorities are met and to be open to experimentation in how employees get their jobs done. Following are a few options (some relatively new) that employers are offering today. Not all will be appropriate for every organization, and each situation needs to be evaluated independently.
- Flexible Scheduling
- Reduced Workweek and Job Sharing
In addition to these options, many employers find providing on-site concierge services like daycare, dry-cleaning, work-out facilities, travel planning and car washing services help people balance their lives by reducing the responsibilities they must attend to after hours. While some of these services are cost-prohibitive for small and mid-sized companies, others are easy to set up with a local vendor, and all contribute to the overall impression that you, the employer, care about your employees and helping them improve their work-life balance.
Read the following article to learn more about helping employees find work-life balance: Helping Young Professionals Find Work-Life Balance.