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10 Ways To Help Your Employees Have A Healthy Work-Life Balance

10 Ways To Help Your Employees Have A Healthy Work-Life Balance

At one time, employers thought that they had to push their employees to their limits and beyond in order to get the performance they expected. Today’s employers realize that the harder you push someone, the less likely they are going to be to perform. Employees who are overworked tend to be much less productive than those who are able to balance their personal and work lives. The employees who are overworked also tend to be absent more, make more mistakes, suffer from burnout, and end up quitting. So, employers need to find ways to help their employees have a better work-life balance. Not only will their businesses prosper, but they will be known as employers who actually care about their employees. Here are 10 things that you can start doing right now.

1. Set an Example

The first thing employers need to do is set an example for their employees. We realize that this can be difficult because business owners are likely work very hard to make sure their companies succeed. However, if they can’t show their employees that they can have a great work-life balance, how can they expect them to be able to do it themselves? Employees look up to their employers, so it is up to employers to show them how to create the perfect work-life balance — or as close to perfect as possible.

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2. Go Home

When you work after-hours, it can lead to a lot of stress and burnout, not to mention overall poor health. It is the same for both employers and employees. So, you need to clock out at quitting time and encourage your employees to do the same. Sure, there are going to be times when everyone has to stay late, such as inventory days if you work at a retail outlet, but as a general rule, it is best to leave at a reasonable hour — and to leave your work at work and not bring it home with you.

3. Know when Employees are Over-Worked

Employers and their managers should be able to easily recognize the signs of overwork in employees. These include fatigue, an abundance of mistakes, absenteeism, and not caring about their jobs. It is a good idea for employers to start talking to their employees personally to find out how their workload affects them, and what can be done to make their jobs easier. In many cases, employees are afraid to let their bosses know that they are having difficulties because they are afraid of losing their jobs. The workplace should be one where employees feel comfortable coming to employers or managers if they are having difficulties.

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4. Be Flexible with Schedules

Employers need to realize that it is no longer a 9-5 world, and schedule flexibility is more important than ever. When employees have flexible schedules, it is much easier for them to find a good work-life balance. They have the time they need to take care of their families and themselves. They don’t have to worry as much about who will be able to pick up their kids after school or who is going to be home to cook dinner. Employers should also recognize that if an employee works extra hours on one day, they should have the option to work less time the next week. A great way to track employee shifts and tasks is using online shift scheduling software like Zip Schedules.

5. Allow Telecommuting

More and more people are working from home, and they are getting a lot more done. It was once thought that there are far too many distractions in the home for people to be able to get much done. But, as telecommuting is becoming more popular, employers are realizing just how valuable a stay-at-home workforce can be. When employees can work from home, they are able to better balance their home and work lives.

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6. Take Vacations

When working for or owning a small business, people tend to take fewer vacations because they don’t think that anyone else can do their work and things will fall behind. Everyone needs a vacation once in a while, even if they are just going to spend it at home. When employers encourage their employees to take a vacation, they are encouraging rest, peace of mind, and better employee health. The workload can always be adjusted while employees are away, so everything will get done on time. Some employers are even forcing their employees to take vacations by adding policies that require employees to take vacation days or lose them.

7. Have A Family-Friendly Workplace

When companies are family-friendly, it makes for a much nicer work atmosphere. There are many ways that companies can be family-friendly. For starters, they can host regular events, such as company picnics, where all employees are encouraged to bring their families. Another great idea is to implement a bring-your-kids-to-work day. Not only do parents not have to worry about childcare on these days, but the kids get to learn about what their parents do at work.

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8. Create a Healthy Work Environment

A company that has a strong employee health policy is one that has employees who are happier, healthier, and less stressed. They are better able to balance their work and home lives and they get more work done. Employees and employers should take time to exercise at different times throughout the day. Walking meetings are a great idea because you get work done while exercising. Standing desks are another option that allow employees to move around. Don’t forget about providing healthy snacks as well.

9. Take Plenty of Breaks

You might be surprised to learn that when you take frequent breaks, you get more done. This is because the more work you do, the harder it can be to continue. You start to burn out and you can’t even see straight after a while. Getting up and moving away from the desk or work station for a few minutes is the perfect solution to the problem, and you will be much more productive.

10. Encourage Communication

It is important that employers and employees communicate with one another about how to improve their work-life balance. If an employee is having difficulties, they need to speak with management about what they can do in order to have healthy home lives and still do their jobs to the best of their abilities.

Featured photo credit: KaboomPics via kaboompics.com

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Jane Hurst

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Last Updated on January 14, 2019

The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

Regardless of whether you hold an entry-level administration role or regularly travel to the ends of the Earth as a hot-shot senior executive, you can still find yourself harboring an emptiness… a feeling that something is missing. A popular assumption that experiencing job satisfaction and a successful career should be underpinned by a well-rounded suite of tangible benefits, no longer holds true for many of us.

We’d never deny health care benefits, appropriate and fair remuneration, bonuses and travel perks in a job package. However, even if served to us on a silver platter, those features can only satiate us to a certain point.

You might wonder what governs entrepreneurs and start-up business owners to quit their lucrative jobs, essentially look the gift horse in the mouth and kiss such benefits goodbye! There can be an irresistible pull to mastermind a business with products and/or services that serve the greater good of community wider than that constituting their daily existence.

Even with research showing entrepreneurship to pose greater threats to their mental and physical health, this unique breed of individuals choose to go against the grain in chasing their dreams of being their own boss. Why? Why would anyone risk this type of career suicide?

Whether you’re an employee, have recently taken the leap to being a business owner or been in business for a while, the commonality is a congenital condition we all share as human beings; to feel a sense of purpose, value and contribution to our community. Despite it being harder to find this for ourselves in today’s world, these approaches will help you achieve ultimate satisfaction through the twists, turns and joyrides that are essential features of shaping a successful career.

1. Search for Opportunities That Feed Your Passion, Not Temporary Excitement

Even though well-intended, the ‘feel good now’ compass that career coaches and consultants often recommend you use to create career satisfaction can actually do you more harm than good. Excitement is transient. It doesn’t last. Passion is the compass you need.

Passion and excitement are two different things. The resounding career legacy that still draws you to turn up on the job regardless of the sunshine or storm that awaits you…that’s passion. It’s like a mental and/or emotional itch you can’t shrug off. Staying attuned to that calling will breed success for you sooner or later. Patience is key.

You’re also likely to have more than one key passion. Beware of getting caught in the notion you have to find your one true purpose. In fact, run immediately from any coach who tells you there is only one. There isn’t.

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Your passion is a journey that can take multiple forms so forget thinking there is the single dream job out there that will give you satisfaction in every way you can imagine. It simply doesn’t exist.

Consider embracing different roles and projects to help you fuel your passion or fuel your pursuits in finding it. Job satisfaction and your career success will be all the more sweeter from a wider range of enriching experiences.

2. Don’t Position Job and Career Satisfaction Assessments as Pivotal Guides to Your Success

Despite their popular use for vocational guidance, assessment tools such as Gallup’s Clifton Strengths and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator have come under fire[1] as being limited to the amount of true value and direction they can offer partakers.[2] These and many other guidance assessment tools (e.g. VIA Character Strengths , DISC ) are self-report questionnaires that don’t have normative population data against which to compare your results.

Simply remember these tools help you develop a stronger sense of what you identify as strengths and weaknesses within yourself, not in comparison with other people. They will still add insight around what sorts of career opportunities, tasks and projects are going to light your fire, what ones are going to extinguish it and what will prod and keep the coals steadily smoldering.

3. Be Clear on Your Personal Values, Ethics and Principles and Choose Relationships That Support You Honoring Them

Teamwork, collaboration, open communication and trust are commonplace for any flourishing work environment. However, whether or not your personal values can be honored in your work can make or break your job satisfaction.

How committed do you want to be to an organization that expects an average of 10 unpaid overtime hours every week under the guise of ‘reasonable overtime’? Are you willing to accept their construing this expectation as ‘strong commitment’ at the expense of your partner and children waiting at home for you? What are your boundaries concerning when you clock on to their time and when you clock off to yours?

Being very in tune with what your personal values, principles and ethics are will bid you well in the job satisfaction stakes. Spending time to reflect on experiences and working relationships you’ve had – the good, the bad and the ugly – will help you make well-informed searches and grounded decisions that will propel your career success.

Finding and nurturing relationships with associates and colleagues who share similar values doesn’t just make your day-to-day pursuits more enjoyable. You become fortunate to work with like-minded people who will support, understand and appreciate you like a second family.

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Being able to honor your personal values in your work means you will still be able to sleep at night when you have to tread where others fear to, and make extremely difficult decisions others would never ever dream of having to make as you forge success in your career.

4. Be Clear on Your Own Definition of What Having a Successful Career Means for You

It’s tempting to get caught up in the ideals and projections of success expressed by those we love, admire and respect. Underneath, we all want on some level to belong to a successful club of some sort.

With research reporting how much money we feel we need to be truly happy,[3] many of us try to subscribe to the notion that having the car of our dreams or taking a European holiday annually will not bring us happiness. The truth, however, for many of us is these tangible rewards are congratulatory reminders of our persistent efforts to chase our career pursuits.

If those are things you aspire to, don’t let anyone steal your desire and want to feel deserving of these things, that those are some parameters by which you define your career success.

Despite consistently being the top revenue earner for two years running, you may not wish to become the sales manager. You may not wish to step out into running your own business even though you consistently excel as an employee, delighting clients and repeatedly receiving glowing testimonials.

Your definition of career success might be enjoying the predictability of a regular workplace routine. You get to leave – without feeling guilty – at the same time each day, love the people you work with and get to spend a good, uninterrupted amount of work-stress free quality time with your family. That picture is also blissful job satisfaction and complete career success.

5. Identify the Sorts of Challenges and Problems You Want to Learn to Overcome

Standard advice you might receive from a career coach might be to look for opportunities where you get to capitalize on exercising your strengths and career-related activities you enjoy.

However, to become a success at anything involves improvement. To excel at anything often involves stepping outside boundaries and comfort zones where others wouldn’t. This means dedicating focus and attention to things you’re not so good at and things you don’t like.

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Here’s where working with a coach can be particularly helpful. Map out the experiences that were unsavory in your working history. Were there challenges you opted out of, projects you failed at or toxic relationships that blasted your sense of purpose and self-worth into oblivion? It’s within these experiences that you might just find the most valuable lessons and guiding lights for your trajectory to achieve greater job satisfaction.

If your natural leadership style is to be a collaborator, finding opportunities that require you to apply a more dictatorial style might be needed. Discussing a secondment or short-term project where you get to develop and test your skills can be a step further in earning contention to lead a larger project down the track.

With several of the company’s boldest personality types penciled to roll out the operation, you’ll not only develop skills that earn your right to throw your hat in the ring; those key players have an opportunity to see your competence. You can then work on building relationships with those stakeholders before you need to hit the ground running should you win the lead.

Greater job satisfaction comes with planning and choosing the lessons and opportunities you want to learn, not desperately flailing, floundering and hoping for the best.

6. Keep Reviewing Your Goal Posts and Be Amenable to Change

The word ‘career’ is indicative of a longer-term pathway of change, growth and development. The journey is dynamic.

You will accumulate new skills and let those you no longer need, become rusty. Your intrigue will be stimulated by new experiences, knowledge and people you meet. Your thinking will continue to expand, not shrink. As a result, your goalposts are likely to change.

A major part of enjoying a successful career is not just setting goals effectively, but regularly reviewing and readjusting them where necessary. However, moving the posts or the target still needs to take place by applying the same processes by which you originally created them. The strength of your emotional connection to those revised goals needs to be the same, if not stronger.

By asking yourself the following questions, you can assure your developmental and growth trajectory is still on course:

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  • Would working toward these goals still allow me to honor my personal values, principles and ethics at the same capacity if not greater?
  • Do the activities I need to undertake to meet these goals honor my highest priorities?
  • Does this feel right for me and those who are nearest and dearest to me?
  • Is this aligned with my passion?
  • Is chasing this goal a right step for me to take now or is this a detour or distraction which could delay my greater plan?

Each of your career goals should have different review periods. Whatever you do, stick to the review schedule you set. It will not only keep you focused but help you see your progress (or lack thereof) and allow you to timely re-chart your course before you get too far down the track. You don’t want to waste time haphazardly heading in the wrong direction.

7. Be Prepared to Let Go

It can be unfathomable to us as to why others risk leaping into the unknown when everything truly appears fine and dandy in the career realm. The company provided stability, recognition, financial success, interesting projects and the promise of a promotion…what was wrong? Why now jump sideways to run a café or train in another field altogether?

Nothing may have been wrong at all. It was all going right. It was just the end of a chapter. Perhaps the yearning for the next step is actually taking a different trajectory entirely. You may want to simply experience a different rhythm. Perhaps it’s time to pursue a different passion.

If you have leaped from employee-land to freelancing or have made the reverse-jump (or you know someone who has), you will have quickly grown a different appreciation for pros and cons each work lifestyle brings. Working for yourself can bring the greater realization of your creativity, whether or not it can be monetized to earn you a living.

When your customers are buying you or a product you designed and fashioned, there is a direct level of appreciation and gratitude that can elevate your confidence in the way you have never experienced as an employee, regardless of your rank.

Similarly, there are times where we need to recognize our business ventures were adventures, not long-term life-changing empires. There are times we need to recognize that time is what provides the clearest limitation of how long we persist for in such pursuits.

We have to recognize the absence of enough financial, mental, emotional and physical breadcrumbs that tells us we’re no longer meant to push in that direction. At least, not for the present time.

The Bottom Line

Above all, keep the momentum. As long as you remain committed to pursuing work opportunities that allow you to honor your highest priorities, the truth of who you are and what you stand for, achieving ultimate job satisfaction and a successful career will never be too far away.

More Resources to Help Advance Your Career

Featured photo credit: Csaba Balazs via unsplash.com

Reference

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