Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Quitting Is Not The Right Option When Employees Are Unable To Achieve Work-Life Balance

In the recent years, a considerable number of employees including those of popular companies have quit their jobs declaring that they could not achieve work-life balance at all. These employees might be thinking that the step they have taken is right and may do good to them. But in reality, they have not done good either to them or to their companies.

Most importantly, their step of quitting does not help the thousands or may be, millions of other employees who may experience the same plight of over-working and not being able to spend quality time with their friends or family members. But since they may have other problems including lack of other resources, they are not able to quit their jobs.

One of the classic examples of those who quit their jobs due to this problem was Max Schireson, former CEO of MongoDB, who could not balance his roles of a dad and a CEO. Similarly, Patrick Pichette, former CFO of Google, quit the company citing the reason that he wanted to spend quality time with his family. Mohamed El-Erian, Pimco’s CEO, resigned when he was given a list by his daughter how he had missed more than 20 childhood milestones due to his work pressure. Thanks to their work-packed hours, these people lost the time they had to spend with their families. 

But instead of quitting, they should have chosen to make use of their experience and creativity to find work-life balance. In fact, if CEOs and managers strive to bring a good change in the corporate policies, all the employees will benefit. Their organizations will ultimately benefit also.

"Flexible working hours - A perk or a smart decision?

Companies have all along been thinking that flexible working is a perk to employees. But management experts opine that it is a smart decision made by business owners. Flexible working can do immense good to departments such as finance and HR management and most importantly, to employees.

The best benefit to companies is they can save substantially if they utilize the services of telecommuting employees. Further, these employees remain more engaged than the normal employees. Studies reveal that in companies that offer the flexible working option to their employees, employee satisfaction levels increase by more than 80%. Likewise, these companies are able to retain talents also.

How a flexible working program can be implemented

Assess the current situation as well as requirements of your company 

You must first know the problems the flexible working program you are offering will solve. Never make a guess but try to gather as much data as possible so you can know what work-life balance issues will get resolved by your offer. You can explore what types of options are available to you. You can offer the working-from-home option or you can accede to employees' request of choosing the starting and ending times of their working days. You must keep an open mind so when you stumble upon unique and new options, you can add them to your list of offers.

Change may take time

You should put in place a good strategy for testing new policies. The details of the policies you introduce in your company must be communicated in lucid terms to all the employees. You are not advised to implement the new policies in a full-fledged manner while taking the first step itself but at the same time, you need not hesitate to make a beginning. But be committed to your implementation goals so you can move forward steadily. For example, you can initially offer flexible working hours for a day in a week. If you think it works well, you can increase the frequency. You can make suitable changes to your policies as and when necessary. Do not hesitate to solicit feedback from your employees because this is a very good trust-building step.

Be a role model

When you introduce the flexible working policy, you must be the first to use the option. Most of the employees may not feel safe when they observe that their bosses themselves do not use the new option. So, you must inspire your staff to follow suit by leading from the front.

Your managers must be suitably equipped with excellent techniques

If your employees think that just attending office and being at the desk or the workplace throughout the day are enough, you must bring about a change in their attitude. They should understand that being productive is much different from being present in the office. Employees who choose the option of flexible working should know that they must focus on the company's goals and targets and work towards achieving them. This means your managers must proactively and clearly communicate the targets as well as goals of the company to their subordinates. Managers must also collaborate with the employees for making them work towards these goals. If employees realize that the company has realistic expectations from them, they may not hesitate to take all the steps to optimize their productivity.

Managers should get rid of all the passive and useless techniques they have all along been adopting and switch to new skills that may suit employees who work the traditional way as well as those who choose flexible working.

Findings of a study reveal that by 2020, more than 50% of employees will opt to work remotely. So, companies must provide employees with more control so they can choose where they work from, when they should work and how they intend to work. This will boost their productivity and their health will also improve. They may derive more satisfaction from their job. They may work for longer hours than the employees who work the traditional way. This will ultimately lead to better work-life balance.

So, those employees, managers as well as CEOs who decide to quit because they are not able to find good work-life balance must choose to stay so they can spur the necessary changes in their respective organizations. This will improve their relationship with their families. Thousands of employees who are forced to stick on to their jobs despite the fact that they are not able to balance their work life and family life will benefit also if business owners and managers introduce this viable option of flexible working in their organizations.

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