Ideal Outcomes

How To Encourage a Thriving Work-Life Balance in Employees

pensive woman with scale illustration between work and home in the background

By Jason Richmond, CEO and Chief Culture Officer of Ideal Outcomes, Inc. 

It’s no secret that the modern workplace can be demanding. With long hours and high expectations, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Considering that nearly half of Americans deem themselves workaholics and 90% of employees work over 50 hours a week, it’s clear that the problem is widespread.

Leaders play a vital role in encouraging a thriving balance in their employees. By setting the tone and promoting healthy habits, they can create a workplace that supports a healthy balance between work and life.

In this blog, we’ll outline the importance of work-life balance and identify how you can encourage a healthy balance between the two in your organization.

What is Work-Life Balance?

Gartner defines work-life balance as “an aspect of employee well-being related to the employee’s ability to manage both personal and professional responsibilities with adequate time for rest and leisure. Each individual may define his or her ideal work-life balance differently.”

A good work-life balance results from creating a healthy, sustainable relationship between work and life, so you can feel fulfilled in both areas. Essentially, it’s about finding a healthy balance between the two without letting one suffer at the expense of the other.

Why is Work-Life Balance Important?

Work-life balance is important for both employees and organizations as a whole. For employees, having time for family, friends, and personal pursuits can help reduce stress and improve overall well-being. This can lead to improved physical and mental health, increased productivity, and reduced stress.

Organizations that promote a professional and personal life balance often see improved employee engagement and satisfaction as well. When employees feel that their employer is supportive of their need for a healthy balance between work and life, they’ll likely be more satisfied in their roles and loyal to the organization. This, in turn, prevents employee turnover and hiring costs.

All of these benefits can lead to improved company culture and a better bottom line, which is why it’s important for employers to encourage and support a healthy work-life balance for their employees.

10 Ways To Help Employees Improve Their Work-Life Balance

Leaders play a key role in promoting work-life balance within their organizations. By setting the tone and leading by example, they can create an environment that supports employees’ efforts to manage their work and personal responsibilities.

Here are ten things leaders can do to drive these efforts:

1. Encourage Employees to Use Their Time Off
One of the best ways to encourage a healthy work-life balance is to encourage employees to use their time off. Time off from work allows employees to recharge, focus on their personal lives and responsibilities outside of work, and come back feeling refreshed.

Organizations should have a clear policy on vacation, personal, and sick days, and employees should feel comfortable taking the time they need without fear of repercussions. Leaders can set the tone by taking their own vacations and using their own time off.

2. Offer Flexible Work Schedules
Offering flexible work schedules is a great way to support employees in balancing their work and personal lives. Flexible work arrangements can include telecommuting, flex time, and compressed work weeks.
Allowing employees to control their work schedule can help them better manage their time and responsibilities outside of work, enabling them to work when and where they’re most productive.

3. Educate Employees
By discussing the importance of taking breaks, setting boundaries, and prioritizing personal time, leaders can help their employees achieve greater success both at work and at home.
Education can take many forms, from an informal discussion with an employee about the importance of taking vacation days to more formalized initiatives such as corporate wellness programs.

4. Encourage Employees to Disconnect from Work
In today’s 24/7 digital world, it can be difficult for employees to disconnect from work, and work can often bleed into their personal lives.
Encouraging employees to fully disconnect from work when they’re off the clock can help them avoid burnout and maintain a healthy balance between work and life.

5. Provide Support for Struggling Employees
Employees may need help managing their time, setting boundaries, or dealing with stress. Organizations can help struggling employees with employee assistance programs, counseling services, and support groups.
Leaders can also provide one-on-one support to employees who could use some extra assistance in achieving a healthy work-life balance.

6. Offer Paid Volunteer Time
Giving employees paid time off to volunteer is another way to foster a better work-life balance. Volunteer opportunities allow employees to take a break from work and focus on something meaningful outside of their job.
Organizations can offer paid volunteer time as part of their benefits package and encourage employees to take advantage of it.

7. Provide Financial Support
There are several financial benefits that organizations can implement to promote work-life balance, such as paid time off for new parents or tuition reimbursement for employees who wish to pursue higher education.
These offerings can help alleviate some of the financial burdens employees face while enabling them to focus on their personal lives.

8. Promote a Healthy Lifestyle
We all know that eating right and exercising regularly are important for our overall health and well-being. When it comes to work-life balance, these healthy habits can be even more beneficial, offering us the energy and focus we need to be productive both on and off the job.
Offerings such as on-site fitness facilities, gym memberships, healthy food options, and wellness programs can help busy employees maintain a healthy lifestyle. And when employees are physically and mentally healthy, they’re better able to manage the demands of work and life.

9. Offer Remote Work Opportunities
Remote work allows employees to avoid a daily commute and gives them the chance to work out of the comfort of their own homes. By offering remote work opportunities, organizations can help give employees the flexibility to better balance their work and personal lives and help them save money on expenses like gas and child care.

10. Integrate Work-Life Balance into Company Culture
One of the best ways to encourage a healthy work-life balance is by integrating it into the overall company culture. When it’s part of company culture, it becomes a priority for everyone in the organization. It becomes something that’s actively pursued over time rather than something that’s only talked about on occasion when problems arise.

Driving Balance Through Culture Change

Work-life balance is essential to the success of any organization. By fostering a culture that values healthy work-life balance, leaders can set the tone for a healthy, productive workplace that helps employees thrive both professionally and personally.

At Ideal Outcomes, we specialize in helping organizations drive this balance through culture change. We have a proven track record of helping organizations create cultures that prioritize their employees, improve culture inclusion, retain top talent, and drive sustainability. If you’d like to speak with one of our culture consulting experts, please contact us today.