Work-life balance is something we all strive for. Ideally we want a job that we love, that we get great satisfaction from; but one that also rewards us financially so we can pursue other interests outside of work, fulfil our personal goals and enjoy life.
Most of us have to compromise to some extent. Perhaps we have a long commute because it’s not feasible to earn the right level of income, or do our preferred job, where we wish to live. Or maybe our job is not the most interesting but a handsome salary allows us to spend every weekend and holiday doing something we love. It’s all about striking a balance.
Helping Your Team Achieve Work-Life Balance
As an employer I firmly believe that companies should be proactive in helping their staff achieve a work-life balance. It shouldn’t be left to employees to try to juggle their lives around their jobs. Instead I think employers should appreciate that their staff have personal lives and that there is interplay between what happens at work and what happens at home.
There are benefits for all parties involved in taking this approach, not least for businesses. Employee engagement and retention are significant challenges for many companies, and this is one area that an employer can really make a difference. While you may think that money is likely to be a key motivating factor in why employees leave, actually work-life balance scores highly in many surveys on employee churn. We all know of people who have taken a less well-paid job because it allows them to spend more time with their family.
For those businesses that hope to retain employees for a long period of time, it is also important to understand how your employees’ needs change over time. Here at CBS, I can proudly say that we have a number of employees who have been with us for over 10 years – 15 in some cases. During this time some of them have started families, experienced relationship problems, cared for elderly parents, had health issues, and all kinds of other personal ups and downs.
I hope that one of the reasons the staff at CBS have stayed with us is that we have always tried to strike a balance between work and personal life. This has meant being sympathetic when staff have needed to take unplanned leave, adaptable when someone has requested flexible working arrangements, and most importantly supportive throughout their time with us. My strategy is to have an open door and always be prepared to listen.
Having a company culture that promotes work-life balance is also good for recruitment. It can be a key differentiator between different companies for a candidate, and it’s a great way to attract top talent to your business. When weighing up the pros and cons of different job opportunities, work-life balance can outstrip salary requirements, enabling companies to really compete for talented staff. A selfish reason, but true!
Most of all fostering work-life balance in a company creates a great place to work. Happy, engaged and supported staff, makes for a happy workplace and that has positive benefits for everyone.