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Is your company's lack of work-life balance driving the good employees away?

by , 20 November 2013
A recent article highlighted the fact that companies that behave ethically will attract better employees - and may do so even though they offer a smaller salary then the competitor. After all, these companies help employees reach their full potential and use their talents - and this is more fulfilling than the usual nose-to-grindstone approach. But what these companies have in common is the understanding that really great employees value the work-life balance. And they take active steps to ensure they engender this in the business.

The experts at the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management say a work-life strategy is a valuable tool. Below, they explain how you can develop one in your business today…
Follow these seven steps to develop a work-life strategy for your company:
Step #1: Create a mission statement
The mission statement pins down your company goal.
Set out what work-life balance is and what you, as the company, are willing to provide. Then ask your employees what would enhance their work-life balance and how they want this to be recognised.
Step #2: Persuade your company that work-life balance is feasible
To motivate the need for work-life balance in your company, you need to make a business case. This may include:
Step #3: Establish and communicate what your employees want
Conduct a survey with your employees and ask them what they'd like.
Be careful to manage expectations and tell them you're only looking into it at this stage and be very clear that not everyone may benefit from the scheme.  At the outset, work out your desired outcomes.
The next step is to effectively communicate what your employees want to management.
Step #4: Develop your policy
Make sure your policy states that it's subject to several things:
1. The employee's access to flexible arrangements may be turned downbecause of business contingencies.
2. Policy changes may occur due to changing business needs.
3. The direct line manager must agree with any application for flexibility.
4. All requests will be given equal consideration, taking the above points and overall employee performance into consideration.
5. Should the application for flexibility be turned down, it will be subject to review on application after six months.
6. Any abuse of the flexi-arrangements by any of the staff members may place the program in jeopardy and the success of the program relies on the co-operation of all parties concerned. 
Agree on strategies for the roll-out of the policy with all levels and write a manual for the implementation and monitoring of the strategy.
Step #5: Communicate the policy to all staff
Step #6: Run a pilot project or a trial period       
Your trial period will depend on the size of the pilot project, but you should run it for at least six months, to iron out all the difficulties.
Step 7: Monitor and evaluate the process and improve where necessary
There you have it. Use these steps to create a work place where work-life balance is priority. You should soon notice your employees are happier, healthier and more productive. 

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