Work-life balance is something that all employees strive for, especially working parents. Employers and HR professionals must do their part to provide employees with the tools and resources they need to make this a reality.
We’ll discuss the top five HR solutions and work-life initiatives that all companies should be implementing.
Employees Deserve a Good Work-Life Balance. Here Is Why Your Company Should Give It to Them
Are you under the impression that employees across the United States enjoy a healthy work-life balance? That employee satisfaction is high and most employees feel comfortable in their position? If you do, we do not blame you. With buzzwords such as digital detox and self-care littering our screens, it can be easy to assume this is true. But, it isn’t – particularly for working parents.
Technological advancements are supposed to make it easier for us to draw a boundary between our professional and personal lives. Instead, it created the always-on work culture. With many employees now working remotely and juggling child care responsibilities, the lines of work-life balance have blurred more than ever before. However, this isn’t a new problem.
According to a study carried out by Family Living Today in 2018, the United States ranked 30th out of 38 countries for positive work-life balance. Many employees noted that they worked over 50 hours a week, including on the weekends and during public holidays. Add to the equation that many employees receive less than 12 hours a day for personal care and family time.
66% of full-time employees felt like they had no work-life balance at all – Small Business Trends.
As more conversations about mental health and employee burnout are being held in the workplace, it is not surprising that employees are seeking better work-life initiatives. After all, a poor work-life balance results in decreased employee morale, lower productivity levels, high talent turnover, and decreased employee retention.
While the responsibility for providing a healthy employee work-life balance does not completely fall on the shoulders of employers and HR departments, they still play a significant role in making it a possibility. Even the smallest investments in the right places can dramatically change the quality of job satisfaction and employee productivity.
5 HR Solutions and Work-Life Initiatives to Boost Employee Engagement
Employee engagement and work-life initiatives go hand in hand. If you don’t provide one, then you can’t expect the other. Rather than viewing it as trying to achieve equilibrium for employees, think of it as work-life integration. Modern-day employees are both career-driven and dedicated working parents. Therefore, the resources they receive need to reflect this.
Below, we mention 5 HR solutions aimed at helping employees balance their professional and personal responsibilities effectively.
Offer Flexi-Time and Remote Work Opportunities
A recent State of Remote Work survey found that 98% of respondents would like the flexibility to work remotely at some stage during their careers. While most companies worked from home in 2020 owing to COVID-19, many employees – working parents included – are not ready to give up flexible work arrangements.
Employees want their companies to trust them to decide how, when, and where they work more often. Many employees note that they feel more valued when they’re allowed to work flexi-time to attend a dentist appointment or work remotely to look after their sick child.
While many companies are planning a hybrid-work model when re-entering the workplace, this shouldn’t be considered a short-term initiative. Instead, companies should be looking to implement work-life initiatives that support their employees long-term to work in a way that suits their lives best.
Have Clear Communication Channels
Clear communication channels are vital as part of work-life balance initiatives. Regardless of whether your employees are in the office or working remotely, there needs to be transparency along the communication chain. Many employees have cited poor communication for increases in burnout levels and workplace failures.
Workplace communication plans should factor in weekly touchpoints with all teams and departments, company-wide updates, and 1-on-1 status report meetings. This will ensure that employees know exactly what is expected of them and will keep all managers up to speed. It will also provide a way to receive employee feedback to ensure employees feel heard.
Implement an Employee Well-being Program
Unsurprisingly, well-being programs and initiatives have an overwhelming impact on how much balance an employee experiences between work and home life. Not only does this HR solution allow employees to adopt healthy habits as part of their workday but also gain access to resources that will make their downtime beneficial.
Employee well-being programs are designed to help employees destress. Whether that is through a company gym membership, healthy food options, stress management, or implementing an employee resource group (ERG) for working parents. Investment in this area not only improves employee engagement but also solidifies company culture as one that boosts the happiness of the employee.
Prioritize Employee Recognition & Workload Reviews
Employees are driven; they want to perform well and give back to their company. However, if their performance isn’t being recognized or if their workload is not achievable, this can harm their morale and engagement.
Each employee is different: some may have the capacity to work longer hours while others may have to log off strictly every day at 5 pm to look after their children. By incorporating workload reviews as part of company initiatives can ensure that employees don’t become overwhelmed or burnt out. Additionally, prioritizing employee recognition can make a huge difference in helping employees become aware of their performance and feel valued.
Provide Family-Friendly Policies and Services
Ultimately, one of the best – and most efficient – HR solutions to improve work-life balance is offering employer-sponsored child care services and family-friendly policies. Many companies lost talent during the pandemic because they were unable to cater to the needs of working parents. Benefits such as access to childcare providers, education assistance, fertility support, and robust paid parental leave are coveted by today’s labor force.
Addressing your employees’ child care needs and offering them effective parental leave options will result in a boost in employee engagement and productivity. If you want to improve the work-life balance for working parents, this needs to be a part of your employee engagement strategy.
How Vivvi Helps Employers Support Working Parents
At Vivvi, we’ve been working with employers to support working parents where they are. We currently work with numerous employers across the United States. Our in-home, in-office, and on-site learning programs allow parents to gain peace of mind knowing that their child is being looked after – so they can achieve the work-life balance they’re looking for.