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Does work-life balance result in better employee engagement?

Does work-life balance result in better employee engagement?

May 7, 2014

Achieving a work-life balance for colleagues is often cited as a sure-fire way of helping boost employee engagement.

But in practice, like so many things, it’s not quite that straight forward. So what are the potential wins and pitfalls?

Time is precious. We’re all only too aware of that.

Research by website Employee Benefits revealed increasing employee engagement is one of the primary forces helping to shape companies’ benefits strategies in 2014.

And employee performance experts need little convincing that striking the right work-life balance will only lead to one thing – happier employees.

Careers and performance coach Penny Strutton highlighted more companies are beginning to understand the link between flexible working and employees willing to “go the extra mile”.

She told the Nottingham Post: “The unpredictability of life means that the struggle of balancing work and life is always on our mind.

“More companies are acknowledging the pressures of home life and are changing the way they work and what they offer their staff. Most are being rewarded by a committed work force who go the extra mile to deliver.

“An obvious option which benefits parents is flexible working.

“Although not a new concept, through the recession many companies were forced due to economic pressures to introduce flexible working to those who requested it (and some who didn’t!).”

Penny suggests companies could provide other offerings to help improve colleagues’ well-being including workplace creches, on-site massage, healthy eating programmes, weight-loss fitness programmes and life coaching.

But introducing flexible working programmes can also be problematic – and even create further disengagement if not handled methodically, according to Rebecca Regard, a HR adviser for Texas-based HR services business G&A Partners.

She said: “The work-life balance challenge usually lies in proper management, so provide your supervisors the training, tools and incentives needed to manage well, and watch your employees’ feelings of fulfilment, autonomy and balance soar.

“Work-life programmes could cut down on your overhead.

“Here’s the catch — they’re not one-size-fits-all, so designing and implementing a sustainable programme that’s the right fit for your company can be daunting.

“Assess your employees’ work-life needs by distributing an online work-life balance survey to employees.

“Use those results to assess which options to offer in the context of your company’s size, industry and location.”