Work stress is quite commonplace. Now, more so, because of how work and life have blended in due to work from home and remote culture. But, the pandemic also made companies realize how critical it is to prioritise employee well-being, for which work-life balance sets the foundation.
In the blog, we discuss how to maintain the work-life balance and work engagement in detail -
- What is Work-Life Balance
- What is Employee or Work Engagement?
- How is Employee Engagement related to Work-Life Balance?
- How is Work-Life Balance Related To Employee Engagement?
- How to Maintain both Employee Engagement and Work-Life Balance?
What is Work-Life Balance?
Work-life balance can be defined as a process in which employees manage their professional and personal responsibilities in such a manner to achieve a state of ‘balance.’
The most common hurdles employees face while trying to achieve this balance are the pressures of the functional role, employer expectations, and organizational policies.
What is Employee or Work Engagement?
Work engagement is a positive and fulfilling state of an employee’s mind characterized by vigour, dedication, and learning retention. Dedicated employees are highly involved with their work and can inspire others enthusiastically. These employees have high resilience and mental agility and can put the knowledge imbibed to good use.
Strike Perfect Balance Between Work Life and Work Engagement
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How is Employee Engagement related to Work-Life Balance?
Various studies have investigated the link between work-life balance and employee engagement. One such study by Sage suggests theories of role enrichment and conservation of resources.
- Role Enrichment Theory explains that positive role-related experiences or emotional responses to one’s role can vastly increase engagement within another function. Employees who feel enriched in one role experience offer greater loyalty to their organization. They are also more open to the idea of cross-functional roles within the same organization.
And further high engagement leads to a better experience and, finally healthy work-life balance for employees.
- Conservation of Resources Theory states that existing resources can bring additional resources owing to their high motivation levels. These employees, owing to their high degrees of motivation, are agile and efficient. At the same time, they need breaks between tasks to conserve their energy, or they risk burnout. Such employees can be effectively engaged by focusing on tasks requiring shorter periods of intense concentration. By assessing employees, complimentary roles can be chalked out.
Thus, organisations must take care of their employees’ emotional well-being (which might be hampered either by disturbances in their professional or personal life.
A study by a corporate executive board found that employees who believe they have a great work-life balance work 21% harder than those who do not.
- Improved employee engagement proportional to healthy work-life balance.
- Engaged employees report being happier at the workplace, a state of euphoria carries across all facets of their life, thus promoting equilibrium.
How is Work-Life Balance Related To Employee Engagement?
Impact of Work-Life Balance on Employee Engagement
A balanced work-life leads to higher degrees of employee engagement. Workers with a good work-life balance also work harder than employees without. A healthy balance can be created by giving employees autonomy over their roles and trusting them to do their jobs, engaging them frequently and offering opportunities to have healthy communication at the workplace.
Impact of Work-Life Balance on Performance Management
Balancing a personal and professional life has become a massive challenge in a high-tech modern world. Unfortunately, the lack of balance tends to hurt employee performance.
Work flexibility promotes productivity and efficiency. Employees also report being able to spend more time with their families and various other passion projects. In addition, flexibility leads to excellent employee retention and higher degrees of engagement in work.
Impact of Work-Life Balance on Job Satisfaction
The better the work-life balance, the higher the job satisfaction. Flexible working hours, more autonomy in work and the promotion of work-life balance by employers contribute to greater job satisfaction.
Offices with a culture of support and family-friendly policies help promote a healthy work climate. Employees in such organizations report bonhomie and a stronger association with their employer.
How to Maintain both Employee Engagement and Work-Life Balance?
3 Key Points to Improve Employee Engagement
1. Tech-Based Tools with the Minimum Learning Curve
Organizational capabilities and processes prevent employees from getting their job done. Complex processes confuse employees and often lead to burnout. This can be prevented with easy-to-follow policies, work structures and tech-based tools.
One of the easiest ways to keep employees engaged is by supplying them with all the necessary tools like HRMS suite, individual cloud-based tools, integrated software and more that help them to do their work efficiently and effectively.
Equipping the workers with the right automation tools and minimizing bureaucracy will ensure that employees stay productive and committed to their goals. This helps them to adapt fast to a world that is rapidly disrupting and moving at a break-neck speed.
2. Recognize and Applaud to Encourage Employees
Employees to want to feel that they fit well into the vision and mission of the company. Openly broadcasting an employee’s achievements can tremendously improve his overall performance and make him feel more engaged at work.
Rewards and recognition increase employee engagement. Too often, gifts, incentives, and bonuses are doled out with minimum fanfare. Therefore, it is good to announce the accomplishments and applaud the employee vocally as it helps induce the feel-good factor.
Recognition motivates the individual performer and boosts productivity throughout the organization. Rewards and recognition should be the characteristics of an excellent corporate environment.
3. Corporate Social Responsibilities to Keep Employees Align with Purpose
All employees want a meaningful life and wish to work for an organization that helps them to stay true to their purpose. The purpose is often linked to corporate social responsibility and enables employees to feel like a part of the community.
Simple activities such as donating to an orphanage or planting some trees can give an impetus to overall employee engagement. Purpose-led employees are advantageous to an organization’s overall growth, and they can aim for loftier goals that differ from their routine work.
7 Tips For HRs to Improve Work-Life Balance For Employees
1. Flexible and Remote Working Environment
Working out of a hybrid office allows employees to spend more time with their families and boosts productivity. Workers want to feel empowered and manage their time without too much intervention. Like, employees want to feel safe knowing they can see a physician and still get the work done.
2. Encourage and Promote Breaks
Organizations cannot and should not expect employees to work continuously for 8 hours, leading to fatigue. In addition, many offices have recreational rooms that offer pools, games and other leisure activities to help employees unwind and relax. Breaks are essential as they reduce fatigue and maintain the momentum of focus.
3. Minimise Burnout by Regular Communications
An employee’s workload must be continuously reviewed to minimize burnout. Additionally, managers and senior stakeholders should regularly intervene to estimate workloads and ensure an equitable distribution of all activities. Managers who regularly talk to their teams know who is busy and has less work. They can then allocate work equally.
4. Lead Your Employees by Exemplifying Top Management
HR leaders must lead by example and promote an excellent working culture. When the senior leaders in the company are seen following a healthy work-life balance, other employees follow suit. Leaders should take breaks, not bother their employees on weekends or expect them to deliver work when it is not essential.
5. Encourage Employees to take days Offs
Make concessions for holidays and sick days. Employees should be given time off from their work. Leave that includes sickness and vacation days helps employees to unwind and recuperate. Many companies now have policies forcing workers to take some vacation days rather than just accumulating them.
6. One Size NOT Fits for All
Acknowledge that every employee is different. No two employees have the same goals or temperament. In such situations, stakeholders must identify and acknowledge the factors that keep an employee engaged and motivated.
For example, some employees prefer to start work early and finish early. The rest may wish to start late and don’t mind extending their workday beyond the working hours. Allow room for flexibility.
7. Leverage Perks to Boost Productivity
Perks are essential for work productivity and performance. However, some employees are not always motivated by money and look for bonuses such as a gym membership, travel allowance and massages. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that these perks are adequately leveraged to boost and promote productivity.
A good work-life balance is less about dividing the day between work and life and more about flexibility. Employees who seek work-life balance must look for organizations and employment avenues that support this framework. Setting boundaries at work and making time for loved ones will ensure work-life balance.
HR managers can bring change in the following ways:
- Know what employees want
- Be a good example
- Stay at the forefront of employee problems
- Keep employees informed about their benefits
Often, work takes precedence in our lives, and we tend to neglect the other things that make us happy. Therefore, integrating personal time is critical for overall well-being. It’s not only necessary for our career but also for our overall well-being.
Employers committed to providing an excellent work-life balance experience less attrition, fewer absenteeism cases, and a more productive workforce.
Ultimately work-life balance means different things to different people, and only the employee can decide on the perfect combination of work and life.