17 October, 2022
Optimizing Employee Engagement through Work-Life Balance: An HR’s Guide
Even as many companies have made the switch to hybrid work, most employees still struggle with maintaining a work-life balance. The reasons behind this are linked to various emerging work trends- firstly the prevailing high attrition burdens existing employees with increased workload, leaving them scrambling to meet expectations. Secondly, work technologies enabling remote work have permeated our private devices, ‘off-hours’ and residential spaces, resulting in a complete melding of personal and professional lives. This encourages an ‘always-on’ work culture, wherein employees find it tempting to stay plugged in to finish off tasks in real-time. Finally, remote teams, especially those located across time zones, require employees to work at odd hours, further exacerbating fatigue and burnout.
Why Push for a Better Work-Life Balance?
Research has shown that highly engaged employees can be at a higher risk of attrition compared to even disengaged workers, if they’re encouraged to work till the point of burnout. An ‘optimally engaged’ employee, according to HBR, is given the resources to manage and recover from the demands of their work. Therefore, digital transformation of the workplace must be accompanied with intentional checks and balances to ensure focused, productive work outcomes whilst allowing for increased employee wellness. This blog discusses 5 ways in which HR can support a better work-life balance for their people:
1. Communicate the Importance
Use the communication modules at your disposal to solidify your allegiance to better work-life balance for employees. This means leveraging external communications like the corporate website and social media as well as internal tools like your employee engagement software. Promotions can take the form of employee videos discussing their positive work-life balance strategies or even disabling certain work apps in pre-determined time slots.
2. Promote Fun at Work
Employee engagement initiatives like setting up hobby and interest forums, hosting cultural festivities as well as online quizzes and contests are some great ways to encourage employees to unwind and infuse a fun element into day-to-day work. An employee engagement platform ensures that these activities can be held digitally for the entire company.
3. Involve the Management
Every new initiative needs a top-down endorsement in order to be perceived as desirable. Rope in the senior management share regular communication about the vision of sustainable business growth through a productive, engaged workforce. This vision needs to be consistently linked with healthy work practices, including work-life balance. At the managerial level, this can be reinforced through rewarding outcomes over working hours and encouraging effective time management during work hours.
4. Facilitate Effective Performance Feedback
Make work more fulfilling by giving timely and specific positive reinforcement for certain behaviors and actions through a pre-determined R&R framework. Linking these behaviors to organizational values and goals can be even more effective in boosting work satisfaction among employees. Higher employee satisfaction will result in an enhanced sense of well-being, which in turn will spill into other areas of life.
5. Include Non-Cash Rewards
There are times when it is paramount for employees to go the extra mile and exert a high amount of discretionary effort to get things done. In this case, employee rewards can take the form of compensatory time-off, wellness perks and even paid vacations depending on the effort involved. Even a pat on the back or a personal note on an employee recognition tool can improve morale and combat burnout.
The objective of better work-life balance is to make employees feel like they’re in control of their lives and are able to successfully balance the various roles they play at work and home. It is the bedrock of strong employee engagement practices which make them feel valued as not just professionals but well-rounded human beings. Given the paradigm shift in work trends with ‘quiet quitting’ (disengagement due to burnout), ‘moonlighting’ (having multiple sources of employment without the knowledge of the primary employer) and the ‘gig economy’ (freelancing) becoming buzzwords, companies would be wise to prioritize effective talent development practices. Stay tuned for upcoming blogs on these interesting trends!
Looking to enhance employee wellness through robust engagement tools? Connect with us for a walkthrough of our employee R&R and engagement platform.