These days, there is a lot of talk about company culture and how your organization can improve the life of your employees and create a happier workforce. While the hourly pay of a position used to be the biggest draw, many young workers now want something more from their employer. They want to feel appreciated, hear positive feedback, and they need to know that their company values them as people and understands that their lives should not be consumed with work.
If the management at your organization has noticed that productivity has slowed and morale is not what it used to be, then you may need to look at your policies and ensure that you are promoting a work-life balance. Let’s talk about the importance of showing your employees that you care and how you can allow them to do their best work and live happy lives.
Benefits Of A Work/Life Balance
Company culture is everything these days, and if you are thinking about how you can improve the atmosphere at your office, then you need to know that it isn’t only about being nice to your staff. Employees want to know that they are valued in the workplace and that they are part of a caring organization. There are many factors that influence work culture that you haven’t considered before. For instance, employees want a workplace that provides educational opportunities, that has a diverse culture, and is fair to every employee, regardless of their background.
The other factor that makes a great employee experience is knowing that they are safe at work, and not only physically but mentally as well. Employees who feel like they are treated more like cogs in the machine than actual human beings are bound to feel a mental burden. They are destined to wake up every day feeling burned out, and they will likely sit down at their desk every day assuming that their employers simply don't care. It is essential that your company culture never goes down that road, and the first step is creating that healthy work-life balance.
By providing this balance, your organization allows your staff to manage their time in the way that works best for them, and when you allow your employees to work at times when they feel they are most productive, then the quality of your product will improve. The fact is that 75% of employees wish that their company was more flexible, so if your company can afford to make some changes, then it will be to everyone’s benefit.
Flexible Schedules May Be The Answer
As you can see, there are great benefits to offering flexible schedules, so you are encouraged to do so, but with some ground rules. Since your company still needs to churn out products and meet deadlines, you need to set expectations for the minimum amount of hours that an employee needs to work. However, if possible, consider allowing employees more freedom to choose when those working hours are. Some employees are more productive early in the morning, while some work better at night. If you can allow a different arrangement, then you will get better work out of your staff, and they will appreciate you more.
Another option is to allow a flexible schedule where employees can work a split shift. With this arrangement, employees can find the time necessary to get their kids ready for school in the mornings and come in later or leave in the middle of the day for a much-needed doctor's appointment. Your employee’s well-being should be the priority. Not only will they appreciate the flexibility, but if you allow them time to take care of their health, they may take fewer sick days.
Finally, consider the option of a hybrid work policy. Essentially, this is an arrangement where the employee spends a portion of their week in the office and the other part working from home. A hybrid schedule is a great way to create a work-life balance because you can still count on the employee to be there in person for meetings and projects, but you also allow them to spend more time at home, and the lack of a commute on the remote days lets the employee get the sleep that they need, and they can spend more time with their families. Going hybrid is a win-win for all.
Other Ways To Promote A Work/Life Balance
While a flexible schedule is a good start, there are other ways that you can promote a work-life balance and improve employee satisfaction and productivity. For instance, you could add the inclusion of mental health days into the employee’s benefits package. These are paid days off, which allow an employee to take time to focus on their mental health so they can return to the office feeling refreshed. After they return, check in with them and ask how they are doing so you can verify that they got the mental reset that they needed.
Your organization can also think of more out-of-the-box ideas to help your team, such as allowing employees to take their dog or pet to work. A furry companion can do wonders for an employee’s well-being, including boosting self-confidence and helping to put the worker at ease when they are stressed. Pets can also help coworkers to get along better as they can lead to great icebreakers during conversations at the water cooler.
With that said, a pet policy requires the implementation of some best practices. For instance, management will need to set limitations for the size of the dogs that can come, create rules for how well they should be groomed, and verify that pets always have a leash. Keep in mind that some employees may be allergic to dogs, so you will want to take their feelings into consideration. Management will need to set boundaries and create pet-free areas.
In the end, it is important that you treat your employees with respect and remember that they are people with needs and outside lives. Find a way to incorporate a work-life balance, and your staff will show their appreciation through their work.