Don’t let burnout ruin the morale of your company. Instead, follow these six ways to promote a healthy work-life balance for employees.
As a leader, your employees often look to you as an example of how to act, what to say and how decisions are made. Your patterns, habits and actions serve as the model for employees who strive to stay in line with company standards.
And while you may be supplying them with the right answers, showing strong leadership and being an overall great boss, you have to wonder – are you helping to promote a healthy work-life balance? A little effort goes a long way and by incorporating the tips below into your workplace, you’ll be on your way to a work-life balance that yields positive results for both your employees and your company.
Watch for signs of burnout
When it comes time to tell the boss they’ve had "too much," chances are, it simply won’t happen. While employees tend to complain around the halls – lowering morale for everyone around – they often keep it to themselves once the boss is nearby.
As a leader, it is your job to notice the signs of burnout well before it leads to major issues in the workplace. Pay attention to things such as errors in their work, a physical change in their appearance, subdued personality and unusual absenteeism.
Offer flexible scheduling/telecommute days
In today’s age of technology, almost anything can be done through a laptop and strong internet connection. Take advantage of the advancements in the tech world to promote a healthier work-life balance – and be known for some amazing company perks.
By offering flextime or telecommuting to your employees, you are giving them the opportunity to work in a space that is more comfortable for them, which allows them increased creativity and productivity. Flextime also helps employees that live in highly populated cities by allowing them to come in later and avoid the stress of daily traffic.
While these plans can be customized to fit the nature of your business, they not only give your team a reprieve from the daily office environment but demonstrate your trust in employees who can get their work done in an unconventional way.
Get healthy together
How many times have you plopped a big box of sugar-laden donuts down in the middle of the conference table? While this is a nice gesture, it doesn’t help your employees to be healthy – physically and mentally.
Instead, promote habits and initiatives around the workplace that emphasize health. While no one expects you to build a 100,000-square-foot gym like the new Apple Park, it is still admirable to offer group discounts at local gyms, start a company team, such as baseball or flag football, and when it comes time for food in the office, always take the healthy approach. Again, as the leader in the office, you are a shining example of how to live, both in and outside of the office.
This goes a lot deeper than simply asking, “How are you?” By digging in with your team members on a monthly or quarterly basis, you provide them with the resources and help that they truly need. Without asking the right questions, you’ll never know what problems they are facing or what obstacles they are trying to overcome – and how it is affecting their productivity at work.
This can be achieved in a number of ways from roundtable meetings to one-on-one sit-downs with employees. If you feel that getting an honest perspective happens best with anonymity, then consider polls and questionnaires to uncover their frustrations and needs.
Provide team building
You will always have one person that sneers at the thought of team-building events or exercises, but the truth is, they truly work. When your team feels comfortable with one another and knows that they are supported, stronger bonds are formed and the work environment is improved. Furthermore, this break from traditional work, which can involve physical activity, such as a ropes course or doing silly activities, injects fun into their day.
Fifty-five percent of Americans did not use all of their vacation hours in 2015. In fact, 662 million vacation days were left on the table in 2016 according to Project: Time Off. This staggering number is one of the many reasons why so many Americans are showing signs of burnout, often leading to poor work practices and exhausted days at home.
To some, the above statistic looks like 662 million days of productivity, but in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Not only does this hurt the economy, with estimations of almost $236 billion in lost spending throughout 2016, but employees are less productive when overworked. By encouraging employees to take the time they need to regroup, refocus and enjoy life, you are showing them that you care about their mental health and happiness and leading your company to success.