Are You Taking These Steps to Improve Employee Work-​Life Balance?

BY Kathy Crosett
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Are your employees telling you that their work-​life balance is out of whack? With millennial employees now entering the life stage of parenting, they’re paying more attention to their family and personal needs. You should be paying attention to those needs as well.

Many employers worry that the phrase ‘work-​life balance’ means less work and more focus on personal life as far as their employees are concerned. But, the concept isn’t that simple.

For example, you can improve your employees’ work-​life balance by encouraging a healthier lifestyle at the office. Allowing team members to go for a walk for a few minutes every day can help morale. Partially paying for a gym membership can also be helpful.

We’re all acutely aware of how our Western diet is damaging our health. Poor dietary habits will lead to bigger health insurance premiums down the road. Employees love companies that offer snacks. They’ll engage in free-​range grazing on everything you offer. If you don’t want people surging on sugar ‘highs’ and then crashing, make sure your snack offerings are healthy. Think bottled water and fresh fruit.

Remember that employees have lives outside of the office. They’ll have days when their children are sick and can’t go to school or daycare. Allow your accountable employees to work from home in these cases. Younger employees aren’t the only ones managing family issues. The baby boomers on your team may be dealing with elderly parents who need their help. They deserve flexibility too. In instances where the family need may extend for a few months, consider offering the team member an unpaid leave. You don’t want to lose an awesome employee because of a life event that will only last three months.

As much as employees want a life outside of the office, teamwork in the office matters. Strong teams translate into higher productivity and better culture. Employees also like to think their co-​workers have their back. Set up regular team building exercises. After-​hours field trips to ball games can be great team building events. Or, you can ask everyone to bring in a dish once a quarter to share a potluck lunch.

Pay attention to what your employees are telling you about their work-​life balance. When you provide solutions that ease the stress they’re feeling, they’ll reward you with their loyalty.