7x7 EVP Framework, Part Five: Work-Life Balance

The traditional boundaries between personal and professional life have become positively blurred — and employees have proven hybrid works. While work-life balance may seem a redundant topic, it isn’t. 

Without question, it remains one of the greatest challenges for the working world. What has changed is its relevance in the Employee Value Proposition (EVP). 

By incorporating work-life balance into the EVP, companies can show their commitment to the overall well-being of their employees and demonstrate their understanding of the value of balancing personal and professional responsibilities. This, in turn, can build a positive company culture and establish the company as an attractive and desirable place to work.

In this post, we delve into why work-life balance is important and tips to make it a reality. We also address the arguments against it with caution to leaders who choose not to act. 

The importance of work-life balance 

From a distant reality to workplace essential, work-life balance has been proven to improve employee satisfaction, morale, and well-being, leading to higher productivity, lower absenteeism and reduced turnover. 

There’s a growing body of research into the implications of remote work. Its normalisation has blurred the lines between personal and professional life, making it more challenging for employees to disconnect from work. Employees find themselves ‘always on’, accessible to their teams at any time of day (or night), increasing workloads and stress.  

Regardless of where and how people work, the COVID-19 pandemic brought with it an unprecedented focus on health and well-being. Employers made it their responsibility to support employees as best they could, and candid conversations on burnout and mental illness have become the norm. Even now, many employees have taken on additional caretaking responsibilities at home, making the notion of balance more desirable.

Work-life balance is essential in helping employees maintain a healthy and fulfilling life. By providing support for work-life balance, employers can improve employee satisfaction, morale, and well-being, leading to higher productivity and a stronger bottom line.

The ‘downsides’ of work-life balance

An intriguing argument against work-life balance is that company climate gets negatively impacted because employees spend less time working face-to-face. 

Some believe a focus on work-life balance leads to:

  • Decreased team cohesion. If employees are allowed to have different schedules and flexible arrangements, it may make it more difficult for teams to work together and collaborate effectively.
  • Lack of commitment. It’s thought that employees who prioritise their personal lives over work may not be fully committed to the company and its goals.
  • Decreased accountability. A focus on work-life balance may lead to employees feeling that they can take extended breaks or have less accountability for their work with negative impacts on productivity. 
  • Unfair treatment. Some employees may feel that work-life balance policies are unfair, as they may have different personal responsibilities or work preferences. 

While these concerns are understandable, prioritising work-life balance does not have to come at the expense of company culture. Companies can strike a balance by setting clear expectations, fostering a culture of trust and respect, and providing resources and support to help manage workloads. When employees feel that they, as individuals, are supported, they are more likely to be engaged and productive contributors. 

Overall, the arguments against the importance of work-life balance may have some validity. However, treating balance as optional is risky.sign-up-cta

What not to do

Work-life balance is a redundant argument yet a critical component of your EVP. Businesses (and business leaders) that do not embrace this concept are, however, likely to suffer in several ways:
  • Attracting and retaining employees. Companies that do not prioritise work-life balance may struggle to attract and retain top talent, as employees increasingly value a supportive and fulfilling work environment.
  • Employee satisfaction and morale. Lack of work-life balance can lead to burnout, decreased job satisfaction, and lower morale among employees, negatively impacting their productivity and overall wellbeing.
  • Increased turnover. When employees feel overworked and stressed, they may be more likely to leave their jobs, leading to higher turnover and recruitment costs for the company.
  • Decreased productivity. Overworked and stressed employees are likely less productive and can harm profitability.
Archaic thinking from business leaders who do not embrace work-life balance are mistaken in their approach, as it fails to acknowledge the changing needs and priorities of today's workforce. Don’t be that leader. Embrace work-life balance, and don’t risk falling behind your competitors in missing out on the benefits of a supportive work environment.

EVP Framework: implementing balance

Here are our top 7 tips to make work-life balance a reality in your company:

  1. Lead by example. Encourage senior leaders to prioritise work-life balance and model this behaviour for employees.
  2. Offer flexible work arrangements. Provide employees with flexible options, such as remote work, flexible hours, and part-time options, to allow them to better balance their work and personal lives.
  3. Encourage work-life integration. Recognise that work-life balance is not about completely separating work and personal life, but rather, finding a healthy integration between the two.
  4. Provide resources and support. Offer resources and support to help employees manage their workloads, such as time-management tools, mental health resources, and access to wellness programs.
  5. Foster a culture of trust. Create a culture where employees feel comfortable taking time off when needed without fear of consequences.
  6. Set clear boundaries. Clearly communicate expectations for work hours and availability, and encourage employees to disconnect and recharge outside of work.
  7. Evaluate and adjust. Regularly evaluate the company's work-life balance policies and make adjustments as required based on employee feedback and business needs.

Implementing these tips can help you create a supportive and fulfilling work environment that benefits employees and your business, leading to higher productivity, lower absenteeism and reduced turnover.

Bringing it all together

Work-life balance is yet another important contributor to EVP. It encompasses a supportive and fulfilling workplace that allows employees to balance their personal and professional responsibilities — helping them thrive. By incorporating work-life balance into your EVP, you can create a productive environment that produces a win-win for your employees and business. 

In our next post, we present best practices in designing and delivering a comprehensive employee learning and development program as part of your EVP.


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