Work and Home, The Balancing Act

There are many articles on keeping your work and home life in balance.  This can be difficult for many depending on the type of job they do.

I recently was talking with a law enforcement officer who told me that she would be ready to finish her shift and someone would not show for the next shift and a supervisor would just tell her that she needed to pull a double shift with only 15 minutes notice.

I was shocked that these types of demands happen and employees feel that if they do not comply that their job or their status would be at risk.  This woman had a small child and would have to get child care at a moments notice. No one wants to get their supervisor mad at them, the price to pay could be very costly, so they just do it.

Employers need to be able to assess the job loads and make sure that they have the correct number of employees to cover them (occasionally you may get caught short-handed, but it should not be the norm).

Businesses run much better and are more successful  when employers can recognize and implement the following to keep employees work life and home life in balance.

1. Discuss openly at team meetings about work life balance.  When employees hear what their fellow employees are dealing with at home they will understand the pressures that may be on them.  Such as; Mary has twin babies that are 9 months old or Bill has two boys that are both playing little league this year.  Maybe someone has an elderly parent that they need to attend to.  We need to understand and acknowledge that everyone has a home life and it is very important.

2. Employers need to make sure that employees work tasks are clear and spelled out for them.  If employees know what their job tasks are and have been trained how to do them that is one less thing that they need to be stressed about.  They know what is expected and can perform instead of trying to figure out what they need to do each day.

3. Employers need to oversee employees (who have home life obligations) and limit overtime or how much work they take home.  Going overboard in this area can be devastating to couples and families.  Employers need to monitor this because if employees get burned out or have difficulties at home due to overtime, they will not be a good employee for long.

4. Employers should try sponsor family oriented activities every once in a while so that employees can get to know each others family.  It is amazing how much of a difference this can make to an employees home life. Companies who have these types of events have happier employees because their families feel they know a part of their job life.

5. Employers need to make sure their management team is trained to recognize stress and overload syndrome in employees.  Realizing your employee is struggling and stressed and addressing it, will let the employee know that you really do care about them.  Far too many times employees will not say anything as they do not want to jeopardize their job.

I know that these points will not be considered in all places of employment, but if you are in a position to make your employees work life and home life balance better, I hope that you would take these into consideration.

Your employees will be happier and your business will run much better.  If you don’t believe me, ask your employees.

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