Community Futures Meridian

Box 2167, 125 - 1st Avenue East, Kindersley, SK - Phone: (306) 463-1850

Achieving work-life balance in your company

  • July 4, 2016
  • Written by Meridian Admin

Last month we talked about achieving a better work-life balance, by bringing equilibrium back to your life. This month we take a look at how you can help your employees achieve a better balance and in turn how your company will benefit.

It seems counter-intuitive to give employees more time off, offer greater work schedule flexibility, or more breaks, but in fact it’s a win-win for both your business and your employees.

Poor Work-Life Balance Costs

  • The more stressed workers are the more time they will have off; absenteeism costs money. A lot of money – according to Statistics Canada average absenteeism in 2011 was 9.3 days for every full-time employee. The Conference Board of Canada reports the cost to the Canadian economy of absenteeism was $16.6 billion in 2012.

  • Staff turnover – make no mistake when an employee leaves because they are unhappy, or burnt out, it costs your business a lot of money. A Standard Life survey found that it costs approximately 40% of a person’s salary to replace them. This is based on: loss of business; production disruption; advertising, interviewing, and other costs relating to hiring a new person such as training etc.

  • Stress related mistakes, accidents, and injuries cost money – approximately $19 million to the Canadian economy per year. What mistakes, errors, and the like actually cost individual businesses is anyone’s guess, but it is probably staggering!

Benefits of a Good Work-Life Balance for Employers

  • Lower employee turnover
  • Increased productivity and cost effectiveness
  • Happier, healthier, motivated employees
  • Greater employee efficiency
  • Greater employee loyalty and commitment
  • Lower absenteeism
  • Positive reputation as an employer
  • Better brand image

Achieve a Better Work-Life Balance in Your Company

  • Lead by example – if you arrive early, leave late, work weekends and never take a vacation, many loyal and ambitious employees will try to emulate your work ethic. That may sound good, but if they burnout, where does that leave you?

  • Offer flexible hours wherever possible – employees can better balance work and home life if they are allowed to choose their start and finish times. Obviously your ability to offer this will depend on your type of business, and the role of individual employees.

  • Encourage frequent breaks – it’s surprising how more efficient people are when they have a chance to break away from the computer, or other work, for a few minutes.

  • Allow some level of telecommuting where feasible. This can allow employees to save travel time and better fit work around their family responsibilities.

  • Rethink the work week. Consider adding an extra 30-minutes onto the beginning and end of each day and give employees every other Friday off so they get a long weekend. This can be staggered so not all employees are off at the same time.

  • Give employees their birthday off – this small thing is a huge morale booster.

  • Where possible evaluate work more on outcomes, not hours worked.

  • Understand your employees’ dreams and aspirations. Discover what motivates them and see how you and your company can become involved. For instance: if an employee is actively involved in a charity see how you can support their work, or if someone is trying to lose weight, get fit, or give up smoking, find a way to support them. Perhaps one of your staff members is keen to upgrade their skills; offer to pay for their classes, or give them time off to study.

A great way to begin improving work-life balance in your company is to sit down with employees and discuss what would help them. You might be surprised at how relatively simple changes or initiatives can make a huge difference to people.

Approach improving work-life balance in your company as a win-win situation; don’t feel it’s all about you giving benefits away – it’s about improving the efficiency, cost effectiveness and success of your business too!