The Importance of Shifting from Work/Life Balance to Work/Life Integration if You Want to Keep Your Best Employees
Want to ensure your best and most talented employees stay with you for a significant amount of time? Of course you do.
Successful implementation is all about work/life integration, something that’s replaced the traditional work/life balance. Employees are increasingly put off by the idea of “trudging” to work every day and getting their hours in. Today’s employees want and expect to be as engaged in their work lives as they are in the personal lives, and employers are doing their best to keep up.
Check out a few examples of employers making the switch to work/life integration and actually treating employees like people instead of nameless worker bees:
Paid Time Off
This beloved concept is not exactly new. However, more companies are creating unlimited-paid-time-off policies today. This idea usually results in visions of two months on a Caribbean island or mountain in Aspen, but the reality is quite different. When employees really love their jobs, they actually want to be at work. This is to further their careers, as employee value is not just about the work, but the time put in.
Working From Home
Mobile technology makes it possible for employees to do their jobs no matter where they’re located. This concept is particularly important during cold and flu season, or when the weather is simply too nasty to travel. Companies such as GE are providing employees with the opportunity to work from home on days when coming to work isn’t a good idea, and are subsequently reducing the spread of disease in the office. The trust exemplified by companies that treat their staff like adults is often mutually reflected by employees, something highly important in long-term company-employee relationships.
Some people do their best work when the sun is rising, while others prefer to burn the midnight oil. Employers are subsequently providing flex time options so employees can work when they’re most productive. This also means less time sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic, whether on the way to work or coming home for the evening.
[Healthy] Food and Drinks
Access to more (and better) food and drinks is another increasingly common employer tactic. There are even offices that feature mini bars complete with beer on draft. Some employees may indulge in too many libations before noon, or consume so many sugary snacks that they’re bouncing off cubicle walls, but this is hardly the norm. Rather, most employees understand that there’s a time and place for eating and drinking, and are happy to be working for a company that wants to make snacks and drinks readily available. Blood sugar levels that remain steady have proven to result in better employee production.
All of the above ideas are rooted in employee responsibility, or the idea that adults are responsible for their actions and understand the consequences of inappropriate behavior. Employees who fail to grasp this concept-well, it doesn’t take long for such people to receive their walking papers. An employee who takes serious advantage of the work-from-home concept, or continually drinks his or her weight in booze every day, isn’t going to last, and said employees will likely have a difficult time suing for wrongful termination under these circumstances.
Remember, employees who feel appreciated and trusted are going to perform better and stay with their companies longer. The above tactics make it much easier for companies to see who’s the best-and who has yet to grow up.