Companies nowadays often suffer from high employee churn rates. Training expenses for new employees and discontinuity of work cost businesses a lot of money. If a company's management wants excellent employee retention in the long term, then it must provide them with the things they need to be happy and productive at work. There can be many things, such as a positive work environment, wellness programs, recognition, incentives, etc.
Though there are numerous things on the list, and usually even organizations tend to provide different initiatives for employees, there is a need emerging in the modern workplace and that is work-life balance.
What Is the Work-Life Balance Theory?
Employees commonly expect work-life balance, and we often hear it, but first, we need to know what it is exactly. A misleading thought about work-life balance is about spending half the time of your day “doing work,” and the other half doing the things that shape “life” or involve it.
Regardless of the misleading thoughts, work-life balance does not mean separating work and life, but it is integrating both. Therefore, it should be work-life integration and not work-life balance, as we all know that it is impossible to separate the two. Intentionally or unintentionally, one affects another, and both have some influence on each other.
The work-life integration concept revolves around the thought that there is no distinction between work and personal life, and both must coexist in harmony.
The Advantages of Maintaining Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance helps companies to improve employee wellbeing. It has numerous advantages, and both employers and employees benefit from it. Let’s discuss the advantages for employees first:
Work-life balance allows workers to decide when they want to work and when they want to relax. It lets them plan their own work hours, which improves their decision-making skills. As a result, they can make the necessary decisions in the business process and make the business grow rigorously.
Additionally, the work-life balance enables excellent employee productivity, which helps to create a confident and assertive workforce. And they tend to be more successful and skilled, which leads them to their personal growth.
Reduced Stress And Mental Wellbeing
Chronic stress occurs when employees are stressed continuously. It can result in severe issues such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, etc. In addition, physical health problems like chronic aches and pains, heart issues, and hypertension can also be consequences of stress. Therefore, a well-maintained work-life balance and positive mental health practices can be excellent solutions for employees.
And work stress is also a reason for the disrupted personal lives of employees. A tedious, frustrating day’s reflection can be seen in their personal lives and create conflicts. So, work-life balance helps to create harmony and leads the employees to a happy mental state.
Better Time Management
Being on a hectic work schedule can affect employees’ personal life commitments. The work-life balance approach helps them to provide enough time for their individual responsibilities along with professional ones. In addition, enabling a process in which employees can choose their work hours develops their time management skills.
Benefits for Employers:
So, we can say that work-life balance helps employees grow themselves and their skills, along with devoting sufficient time to their personal matters. Now, we will see the benefits for employers of enabling a work-life balance model in the workplace:
Employee productivity is the thing that matters the most to a business rather than anything else. This is because the workforce is involved in the business process, contributes to it, and derives results. The outcomes are based on the efforts workers have put into the process, so basically, the results are directly affected by the staff’s productivity.
As productivity influences the quality of outputs, companies tend to focus on increasing productivity so better results can be derived and consistent product quality can be maintained. Therefore, providing the workforce with an approach and work model where they can maintain a balance between work and life can be very beneficial for an organization to run with a long-term success rate.
Employee-centric management creates a sense of belonging in the workforce, so they give their best in every operation and contribute more. The corporate executive board conducted research and took 50,000 global workers’ opinions; they found that employees who think they have an excellent work-life balance outperform those who don’t by 21%.
Develop Employer Brand
Building a unique employer brand can be helpful for a business in many ways, and therefore, every company strives for it. The employee-centric approach creates a positive reputation for the business in society’s mind. So, the company gets recognition and more customers as well.
Happy employees present an impressive image of the workplace in front of others. So, the company can reduce the marketing budget and allocate it to other operations as it is already getting “word-of-mouth” publicity. In addition, workers refer the company to others as a great place to work, so the business can get a better and larger number of candidates for vacant roles.
Higher Retention Rate
As mentioned earlier, employees with a positive work-life balance feel more connected to the business. They get hooked up with the employer, and thus, an organization can reduce employee turnover. Employee job satisfaction is a crucial driver of the retention rate, and work-life balance fulfills this need for companies.
Employee Benefit News(EBN) reported that it costs around 33% of an employee’s annual salary for companies to replace him if he leaves the job. Therefore, maintaining employee work-life balance can save organizations' costs and increase overall profitability.
How Can Work-Life Balance Keep Employees Retained?
As the image says, employees feel demotivated due to a poor work-life balance. Numerous studies have proved this.
In this competitive era, if a company wants to survive and develop, it must have a productive workforce that doesn’t consider their work as just a job role but gets entirely involved in the process. To enable employee productivity at an optimum level, the organization must keep them satisfied with their roles and hooked to the company. Happy employees are more enthusiastic and active in their work, and they often perform better. Satisfied employees always have a positive influence on the company. Listen to what they say about the work-life balance quality in your organization by conducting a survey, such as an employee feedback survey.
Providing the employees with a completely balanced workflow will be nothing less than a blessing for a company. It keeps them engaged with work and colleagues. They feel motivated, so they try to play an essential role in the organization and contribute an influential part to the business process. They think that the company's management cares for them and that they are a priority.
Overall, these things increase employees' loyalty to the company, and they avoid job shifts. And thus, it leads to an excellent retention rate.
Ways to Enable Employee Work-Life Balance
A Philadelphia-based management consulting firm, Hay Group, conducted research and found that more than one in four workers plan to leave their jobs after perceiving no work-life balance. So, various businesses tend to provide the workforce with a workflow in which they can balance both their personal and professional lives. Some of these ideal and globally acclaimed ways are stated below for your consideration:
1. Flexible Work Hours/Remote Work
The most common and successful way to enable work-life balance is through remote work or flexible office work. Remote work is getting more and more widely adopted in the modern workplace. In addition, it is less costly, so organizations are emphasizing it. Or some adopt flexible shifts so that employees can work according to their comfort and convenience.
2. More Emphasis On Productivity Rather Than Hours
Rather than counting the attended work hours, some managers tend to focus on employee productivity. They emphasize the work completion and its quality; how many hours the workers have worked doesn’t matter. This way, employees also concentrate on the quality of the work and constantly try to improve it.
3. Timely Breaks
Some companies provide breaks for employees so they can get refreshed. They even change the employees' workplace and shift them to an entirely different part of the office so that they can get variations. And some organizations even encourage their employees to take time off to avoid burnout.
4. Engagement Programs
Numerous businesses organize engagement programs in the workplace at multiple intervals. For example, employees and managers bring their kids, parents, or friends to the office and introduce them to their colleagues. Fun activities, food, thanksgiving ceremonies, etc. are included in these programs. It promotes a better company culture and puts it at the top of global recognition.
To get competitive advantages and unexpected productivity figures, businesses need to make it clear to employees that they care about them and understand their problems. In addition, they have to keep their workforce loyal and engaged to reduce employee turnover. As a result, various companies are adopting work-life balance best practices, and numerous have made it possible to get featured in the list of best places to work.