Improving employee retention is the goal of many organizations, and success requires finding the right balance between making employees want to stay and protecting the bottom line of the company.
For organizations that are unable to realistically implement all of the employee retention strategies they are considering, focusing on those that improve the work-life balance of their employees should be a priority. Here is a look at what this entails and how it benefits companies.
Improving Employees’ Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance is an essential element of an overall healthy work environment. It can reduce stress and prevent burnout in the workplace, which can have negative consequences on the physical and mental health of their employees. Fatigue, low performance, mood swings, irritability, toxic workplace culture and other problems can be largely eliminated by improving the work-life balance of employees.
Outlined below are some of the top ways businesses are successfully improving the work-life balance of their employees with a view to improving their retention rates.
The COVID-19 pandemic may have made temporarily working remotely a necessity, but now that the situation has improved, many companies are continuing to offer remote work options to their employees voluntarily. The “trial by fire” during the pandemic showed that remote working is feasible in many organizations, and many employees enjoy this approach so much that they would prefer not to return to the office every day.
A poll from Bloomberg News and Morning Consult recently revealed that almost 40% of American adults would consider quitting their job if their employer was not willing to be flexible when it comes to remote work.
There are several ways in which remote work can improve employees’ work-life balance:
Employees can often accomplish more during their working hours when they work remotely because they can control their working environment. Working remotely means fewer of the interruptions and coworker distractions that are common in a typical office.
Employees who work remotely from home will not spend any time commuting. In addition to reducing stress and expenses, it can save them valuable time to spend on other activities. By finishing their work day earlier, they will have more time for enjoyable activities such as spending time with their families, working on hobbies or focusing on their well-being.
When employees are allowed to work anywhere at any time, it instills them with a sense of trust, which can improve their job satisfaction and inspire them to drive further success and efficiency within the organization.
Compressed Work Weeks
In some workplaces, the traditional five-day work week is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Many organizations are eschewing the eight-hour workday in favor of four ten-hour work days, which gives employees three days off per week rather than the usual two while still working 40 hours per week.
The extra day at home afforded by this model can give employees the time they need to address personal tasks, pursue their hobbies, exercise, travel, connect with family, or work on well-being, all of which can contribute to the increased quality of work dramatically.
This approach comes with additional benefits for those who must work in person at their office as it means they only need to commute four days per week rather than five. This can result in significant savings on commuting expenses such as fuel or public transportation costs.
Flexible Working Hours
Flextime refers to working arrangements in which employees can structure their workday or workweek in a way that makes sense for their lives. They may be expected to be working during specific core hours of the workday or specific days of the week, but they can choose within these parameters the time they wish to start and stop, as long as they work the required minimum number of hours per day.
This can be very beneficial in helping employees arrange their work schedule around family commitments. Many people have been quitting their jobs because they are struggling to coordinate child care or other caregiver duties. With a flextime arrangement, an employee may be able to set their working hours to coincide with their children’s school hours or other responsibilities, which could motivate certain employees, who may have left otherwise, to stay with the company.
One survey found that 80% of employees would choose a job offering a flexible schedule over one with rigid working hours, while 30% reported that they would rather have flexible work than additional vacation time.
A different study found that job seekers would be willing to accept as much as 8% less in salary for the ability to have flexible work schedules. When it comes to retention, 80% of survey respondents said they would be more loyal to their employer if they were offered a flexible working schedule.
How Companies Benefit From a Workforce with a Positive Work-Life Balance
Although improving employee retention is more than enough motivation for most organizations to take these steps, there are plenty of other benefits awaiting employers who make the effort to improve their employees’ work-life balance. Here is a look at some of the biggest benefits.
Many employees who work remotely from home may start work earlier and finish later. When they don’t lose any time on their commute, they may be more inclined to put in some extra time. Moreover, they can begin their workday in a more relaxed state rather than arriving flustered from a stressful commute, which can improve their focus. For some employees, skipping the commute may mean getting an extra hour or two of sleep, which can also give productivity a boost.
Employees who are given the chance to work flexibly or remotely might be more inclined to engage with the company and make valuable contributions. For many people, working in a different way or environment helps foster the ability to “think outside the box”, and this can spur innovation.
Attracting New Talent
While offering any of these benefits that focus on improving work-life balance should improve your employee retention, it is also worth noting that they can help your organization attract new talent. It is particularly useful if you wish to recruit younger workers as they tend to seek greater flexibility and have a stronger focus on work-life balance.
Schedule a Consultation with Business Benefits Group
Taking steps to improve employees’ work-life balance can pay off significantly in terms of employee retention and satisfaction. To learn more about the best ways to move forward, schedule a consultation with the experienced consultants at Business Benefits Group (BBG).