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Balancing Act

Research indicates that being flexible around working hours helps create greater levels of employee commitment. Good managers are aware of this and are sensitive to employees’ personal needs and work/life balance. They try to accommodate employees when they have emergencies or special needs by allowing them to leave work early, or arrange flexible work schedules. These practices can be a powerful motivator for employees.

Here are some specific actions you can take now to increase engagement by helping your employees achieve a greater balance between their work and personal lives:

1. Allow one of your best performers to take time off as a reward for an outstanding job in completing an important project. Consider giving them an afternoon off, an extended lunch hour, or a bonus day of vacation if company policy allows. Talk to the employee about what would be most meaningful to him/her.

2. At an upcoming team meeting, brainstorm with your employees ways to increase the flexibility of work hours. For example, they might arrange with other team members to cover for them during times when they need to be away from work. Put the power of your team’s creativity to work to identify sensible ways to improve their overall work/life balance.

3. Use 1-on-1 discussions with your employees to coach them on achieving greater work/life balance. Ask them to write down their top five priorities at work, then identify non-priority activities that they are spending too much time on. Encourage them to drop the non-priority activities, or to get help from others, so they can focus on what’s truly most important. They can apply this same strategy to evaluating the priorities in their personal lives.

To learn more about how to improve the morale and engagement of your employees, click here and check out LRI’s Online Active Interval Training for supervisors.

Hat Tip to Eric Vanetti of Vantage Point Alliance.

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