Live to work or work to live? This is not the right question. Balancing work and personal life remains one of the more important issues in full-time employment. Studies show this even surpasses compensation. A good SME leader should encourage their employees to find a better work-life balance. Don’t let this hit your business, though. You need to lead your employees to a better life and get them to reach your business goals too. This doesn’t need to be tricky. Just try following some international best practices and see what works.
Following standards and being international will make your business look attractive. You will be seen as an attractive employer. This will build a strong brand reputation, leading to more profitability. Take some time to think about what the international best practices for encouraging better work-life balance are. Here are some pointers.
Sounds simple. I bet you don’t do it. Have your workers fill out a survey about various balance-related factors of your company like hours worked, flexible scheduling and support for child care. This will help you identify the specific areas in which your company can improve, allowing you to focus on implementing achievable solutions.
Maybe your staff, especially the younger ones, don’t know how to find a good work-life balance. Teach your employees how to balance work-life balance, what the benefits are, and effective strategies to achieve it. Educating your employees will give them the tools they need to help themselves.
Working from home for one or more days a week allows your staff to attend to important personal matters and still get their job done. Some leaders allow their employees to report for certain hours in a day or report early so they can attend to their families after office hours.
Oil and gas workers and nurses sometimes report for duty for a set number of days and work long shifts. Then, they get extended periods of downtime. One survey showed that the most effective alternative work schedule is letting employees work 10 hours a day then have three days off. What schedule will work best for your staff?
Employees with flexible work schedules are more likely to work when they are most productive. Some people work better in the morning, even in the early morning. Early to rise wins! A clear mind and a good start to the day. All the work that needs to be done can sometimes be completed before lunchtime.
High staff turnover is a common curse for SMEs, especially in Asia. If you are a small business, and you lose several key staffs in a short space of time, it may have a big impact on your business. Stress at work is one of the reasons for high employee turnover. If employees are given the option to work from home for a day, they may choose to stay with your company.
Finding happiness in the workplace is likely to motivate your staff to perform better. Staff with good work-life balance feels more content about their workplace. This drives employee engagement. It inspires employees to get behind their brand, be proud of their work and encourage them to do more.
A healthy work-life balance empowers personal development. Giving your staff the power to make decisions regarding their work and personal life leads to better decision-making. This means better business decision-making too.
Encouraging better work-life balance should be a priority for your SME business. If you haven’t thought about it already, take a look at how to encourage this in your workplace. Make it an explicit company policy or subtly introduce it in your company strategy. Either way, you will soon see the benefits to your business.