Claire McCartney of Roffey Park outlines the five steps you need to take to achieve the right work-life balance in your workplace
Previous research by Roffey Park has demonstrated the importance of organisational culture in enabling work-life balance.
For many employees, the organisational culture is actually embodied in the attitude and behaviours of their immediate line manager. Therefore, whether an individual feels able to discuss issues outside of work, request different ways of working and believes that the organisation genuinely enables balance will depend largely on the skills of their immediate manager in creating an open culture of trust and respect.
Follow the five steps below (based on Roffey Park’s latest phase of research) to develop and improve your work-life balance managerial skills.
1. Develop open lines of communication
Create an environment within your team where employees feel able to approach you, not only about work-related issues but also personal issues and work-life balance needs if they arise. Developing open lines of communication is particularly crucial if you are a manager of employees on flexible or home-based contracts who could potentially feel very isolated from the organisation. In circumstances like these you, as their line manager, represent their lifeline to the organisation, so remember to communicate, communicate, communicate.
2. Understand the issues faced by each individual employee
It is important to understand that when it comes to work-life balance there is no one-size-fits-all model. Employees are unique and have very different needs that change at different stages of their lives. Take time to learn about your team members’ personal circumstances - this will enable you to grasp if someone has a genuine need and to address any problems that arise.
3. Be a role model
Being a role model can be a very effective tool for demonstrating an organisation’s commitment to work-life balance and at the same time if a manager is seen to have work-life balance values it reinforces the message that individuals can progress within the organisation even when they make choices that support balance. Ho