Everything a leader does must begin with love. Love is the power behind any workforce that moves any company. Today, more than ever before, loving your employees means understanding their need to balance their life with their work place.
Nearly two-thirds of respondents to recent a Parents at Work (PaW) survey recently said that their work-life balance made them feel a “little stressed” with almost a quarter claiming that it made them “very stressed”. We already know that work-related stress leads to absenteeism and time off due to medical-related issues. It also creates dissatisfaction and low morale.
Some additional statistics on the impact stress has on employees and our business:*
- An overwhelming majority of Americans (92%) agree that personal problems often spill over into work, decreasing productivity.
- Ninety-four percent of employers agree that employees feel greater loyalty to companies that are willing to help them with their personal problems, and 87% believe they work harder.
- Stress costs American employers approximately $200 billion a year in absenteeism, lower productivity, rising health and workers compensation costs, and other expenses.
- The average stress-claim costs are calculated at $15,000-twice the average for physical injuries.
- A University of Washington study of over 1,500 Boeing employees found that workers who reported high emotional stress are more than twice as likely to file a physical injury claim.
More and more companies are recognizing the impacts of balancing work and home life and taking measures to alleviate this burden from employees. Here are just a few of the examples that management can help employees balance work and home life:
Allow flexible working hours. Most companies enforce core business hours, but allowing staffers the flexibility to accommodate their commute, take kids to school, and so on, makes for a happier and more product and loyal workforce. Hours for each employee should be set.
- Offer onsite services such as car detail, blood pressure check, dental appointments, and even massages. I worked for a dot-com startup (now a household name) that offered free dinners, mobile car detailing, dog grooming and dental work onsite on a weekly basis as part of their benefits package. The motivation was selfish, however. Keeping employees at the workplace meant more time spent working—not taking time off for such appointments. Free dinners at the corporate cafeteria meant that employees were working late! This also alleviates the stress on employees to manage taking time off for things like regular health checks. Now an employee’s time off can be spent with family, on vacation, or just relaxing and recharging. This is a win-win for everyone. It also sets your organization apart when you are recruiting new talent!
- Implement a company-wide Employee Assistance Program (EAP). What is an EAP? An employee assistance program, or EAP, is a supplemental counseling service and benefit for employees and their eligible dependents that may be experiencing personal or work place problems. It is always independent of the company itself, and so employees can utilize the EAP without the employer knowing who is using the services and for what reason. In addition to the reasons stated above for offering an EAP service, it is also more cost-effective to improve existing employees than to recruit and train new employees.
Lead with Love
In my new book, Lead with Love, I am addressing the various generations and their need for balance and enjoyment in the work place. I am re-introducing the 10 fundamental principles of L-E-A-D-E-R-S-H-I-P to help foster, encourage, and assure peak performance from associates, while focusing on new potentially controversial concepts like:
- If You Can’t Love, Quit Trying to Be a Leader!
- Liking your associates can hurt your mission.
- Integrity and its connection to today’s Corporate leaders.
- The growing need for engagement, personal interest and enjoyment in today’s work place.
- Love does not need to be soft to be real.
- Loving your employees can mean letting go of them if needed.
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For more information on the stress-related statistics cited in this article, as well benefits of an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), please refer to the article EAP Helps Solve Problems online at: