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Hrm Work Life

In: Business and Management

Submitted By VATSYPOPAT
Words 6542
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VATSAL POPAT - 25
MCOM PART 1
VATSAL POPAT - 25
MCOM PART 1
WORK LIFE BALANCE WORK LIFE BALANCE

Abstract
THE NEED TO MAINTAIN BALANCE IN WORK AS WELL AS LIFE FOR A HAPPY AND A SUCCESFUL LIVING
Abstract
THE NEED TO MAINTAIN BALANCE IN WORK AS WELL AS LIFE FOR A HAPPY AND A SUCCESFUL LIVING

CONTENTS
1.0 – INTRODUCTION 2
2.0 - WORK LIFE BALANCE 4
2.1 - WHAT’S IN IT FOR EMPLOYERS? 6
2.2 - BOTTOM-LINE BENEFITS 7
3.0 - HOW SHOULD THE ORGANIZATION WORK TOWARDS IT ? 8
3.1 - FLEXIBLE TIMINGS. 8
3.2 - FLEX THE PLACE 12
3.3 - FLEX THE JOB 14
3.4 - FLEX THE BENEFITS 17
3.5 - OTHER IDEAS BASED ON PUBLIC SURVEYS 24
4.0 - EMPOYER AGENDAS TO IMPROVE WORK LIFE BALANCE 27
4.1 - STEP 1 CHECK IT OUT 27
4.2 - STEP 2 FIGURE IT OUT: PLAN THE RIGHT MIX 28
4.3 - STEP 3 TRY IT OUT: IMPLEMENTATION 30
4.4 - STEP 4 SPELL IT OUT: COMMUNICATION 31
4.5 - STEP 5 WORK IT OUT: LEAD BY EXAMPLE 32
5.0 - 10 TIPS TO THE HR MANAGER 33
6.0 - ARGUMENT AGAINST THE HYPE FOR WORK LIFE BALANCE 35

CHAPTER 1 - INTRODUCTION
HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT - HRM is the process of managing people in a company as well as managing the existing inter-personal relationships. These two processes are key in the success and growth of a business.
When viewing HRM from the point of ensuring that structures and processes are identified and instituted to manage an organization’s personnel, the following elements are included: * STAFFING is the core component of HRM. Staffing is about setting guidelines and procedures to guide recruiting and placement. The presence of these staffing procedures will aid in the effective advertising and reaching out to potential employees. On top of this, the person interviewing and selecting new staff should be able to identify candidates who are suitable for the various roles. The interview should be structured to ensure the success of the interview process as well as the candidate selection. * RETENTION is another key element of HRM. The training of employees to enable them to improve their career paths is very important. In some situations where an employee is undergoing through a difficult time in his or her life, an effective Human Resource Department (HRD) should offer suggestions for support and counselling where appropriate. Remuneration packages and perks that are associated with the package an employee has been offered also fall under the remit of the HRD. Good HRM policies ensure that there are structures in place which show the pay levels for the different positions in an organization.

* PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT is another key component of HRM is. The reason for this is that many employers use it to assess career progression and to determine pay increases. When a good performance management policy is in place, effective targets can be set and monitored regularly. These records are crucial when staffing levels need to be reduced or disciplinary proceedings are institution.

* A secondary role of HRM is in the management OF INTER-PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS. This covers staff within departments as well as at an organizational level. The relationship between staff and management is an important factor in the success of an organization. It sets pace for how the organization will move forward in achieving their vision.

* As far as this secondary function is concerned, the objectives and outcomes, are designed to help employees and the management grow employees and ensure that the interactions within the organization are fulfilling for every member of staff from the bottom up.

* The ultimate focus of HRM is the people within an organization. Regular planning, monitoring and evaluation are important for the success of HRM. Successful implementation ensures that all employees know their role, career path and also feel part of an organization which is able to manage and reconcile their expectations as well as those of the organization and its objectives.

CHAPTER 2 – WORK LIFE BALANCE.
Successful Business leaders do more than just manage books – they also help their employees to manage work life issues. * Work-life balance is a serious and growing concern for employers, and business owners and managers who find ways to help workers have a life and a job will reap real rewards in terms of employee recruitment, retention, morale and productivity.

* Perception: It’s a private issue. Fact: The personal impact is undeniable: research links work-life conflict to increased depression, marital problems, fatigue and stress-related illnesses. But it doesn’t stop there. These results translate into real problems for employers, such as increased absenteeism and reduced productivity.

* Perception: It’s a parenting issue. Fact: Work-life conflict is a growing concern for all Canadians, not just those with children at home. An increasing number of non-parents report difficulty fitting in volunteer commitments, or educational, leisure or health pursuits. We may not all be parents but we are all children.

* Perception: It’s a women’s issue. Fact: According to a 2003 study by the Women’s Executive Network, women are twice as likely as men to report work-life imbalance, and with good reason: despite a massive influx into the workforce, women retain the greater share of responsibility for child care, elder care and domestic chores * Perception: It’s a stage in life. Fact: The call for more work-life balance comes from all sections of the population: the university student with a part-time job, the female executive with small children and the seasoned employee easing into retirement. Work-life balance is increasingly important to young people entering the labour market as well.

* Perception: It’s “fifty-fifty.” Fact: Work-life balance is rarely a partnership of equals. More often, it is a changing relationship—one part may dominate for a period of time, only to see the other part attracting more attention. Balance is also personally defined: what is balance to one person may be imbalance to another.

* Perception: Work and life are separate domains. Fact: Work and life issues are closely linked and changes in one almost always affect the other.

* Perception: Technology will help. Fact: Technology is a double-edged sword. While innovations such as cell phones, laptops, personal digital assistants and wireless networks allow us to work anywhere, they also allow work to follow us anywhere.

* Perception: Little can be done. Fact: Companies have been able to show clear and measurable improvements in work-life balance by even the smallest of changes. Of course, there is no “magic bullet,” but a willing manager or owner has plenty of tools and resources to achieve better balance and, through it, better business.

2.1 What’s in it for employers?
As a person, you might agree that work-life balance is a worthwhile goal. But as a business owner or manager, you may need more reasons than that to build it into your business plan. A tight labour market is one very compelling reason. . Studies show that an organization’s ability to attract and retain workers will increasingly depend on work-life balance.
Costly consequences. * Increased absenteeism. * Increased employee turnover. * Reduced productivity. * Increased disability costs. * Increased health costs. * Reduced job satisfaction. * Increased managerial stress. * Impaired family/social relationships.

All of these outcomes have direct consequences for your business, but they also have direct and personal consequences for you, as a business owner, a manager or a supervisor. Work-life stressors for your staff mean increased work-life stress for you and those around you. If there is an imbalance, it reflects on work performance, customer service, team dynamics, staff morale and attitude. The bottom line is we pay for out-of-balance work life. There is more and more pressure through union negotiations to address these issues and employees want more help.

2.2 Bottom-line benefits.
Companies with high levels of employee satisfaction know that work-life balance options are not “perks.” They are part of a business strategy that provides a solid return on investment for the company as well as the workforce. * Reinforce recruitment. Studies show work-life balance is one of the benefits employees are looking for in a job, providing a competitive edge in a tight labour market. * Raise retention. The majority of companies reported improved retention as an outcome of work-life balance programs. * Decrease absenteeism. An overwhelming majority of companies reported that flexible working arrangements have reduced absenteeism. * Limit latecomers. Companies reported reduced instances of employees arriving late for work as a result of flex-time options. * Power up productivity. Companies reported significant gains in productivity after implementing work-life balance programs. * Neutralize the naysaying. Work-life balance strategies produce gains in employee satisfaction surveys, customer service evaluations and relationships among colleagues. * Promote participation in training. Studies show employer support of work-life balance allows and encourages greater participation in training and education. * Contend with the competition. More than half of companies offer some form of flexible working arrangements. Engage the emerging labour market. The majority of employees name work-life balance as a personal goal.

CHAPTER 3 HOW SHOULD THE ORGANIZATION WORK TOWARDS IT ?

3.1 FLEXIBLE TIMINGS.
Flexible arrangements are a broad category of work-life balance options that focus on the element of time: the days, hours, start time and end time of work. Included within this category are alternative work schedules, compressed workweeks and voluntary part-time or reduced hours.

Alternative work schedules.
Employees work a full day but can vary the start and end of the workday within defined guidelines. There is usually a “core” of work hours when all employees are expected to be present. For example, one employee arrives at 7 a.m. and leaves at 3 p.m. while another arrives at 9 a.m. and leaves at 5 p.m., but both are there for the core hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The upside * Employees can fit work around personal commitments. * Employees can work at times when they are at their “personal best.” * Alternative work schedules can improve coverage or access for customers, co-workers on different shifts or business partners in other time zones. * Access to computer networks is easier outside of peak periods.
The downside * The depth of coverage (number of people available at one time) may be reduced. * Scheduling meetings can be more difficult. * There may be periods when the supervisor is not present. * This option is not suitable for all positions or operations.

Positive practices * Identify core hours when all employees must be present. * Specify start/end times for the employee and communicate these to co-workers. * Require that all meetings be held during core time. * Clarify how overtime is handled, defined in light of the flex-time schedule. * Allow a trial period and make adjustments as needed. (E.g Adjust core time hours, rotate start times between employees wanting the same shift).

COMPRESSED WORKWEEK
Employees work the full number of hours in their regularly scheduled workweek or cycle, but these hours are compressed into fewer days. For example, an employee working one extra hour a day earns approximately one day off in every two-week cycle; an employee adding a certain number of minutes to each workday receives every third Friday off.

The upside * Employees can arrange for personal needs (e.g. banking) on their day off. * Employees save time and costs in commuting, parking, lunches, office wear and child care. * Employers may be able to extend hours of service to customers. * Employers may save overtime costs.
The downside * Some jobs are not well suited for part-time work. * Part-time employees may be viewed as less committed, be left “out of the loop” or overlooked for promotion. * There may be a danger of reducing the hours without reducing expectations or workload. * Customers may find that part-time access to this employee is inconvenient or confusing.
Positive practices * Choose a reasonable schedule to accommodate peak workloads, regular staff meetings and natural breaks in workflow. * Avoid complex work schedules that may be difficult for others to track or remember. * Put the hours in writing and inform all affected co-workers and customers. * Provide proportional pay and benefits and seniority rights. * Treat part-time employees equally (e.g. they are considered for promotions, invited to staff functions).

Phased-in retirement
Individuals retire gradually by reducing their hours over a period of time, often years, prior to retirement. This benefit is usually reserved for long-service employees and is being negotiated in an increasing number of collective agreements. Plans can take many forms, including company-paid, employee-paid or partial pension options.
The upside * Older workers have time to prepare for the changes that come with retirement. * Employers can plan for attrition. * Employers can continue to benefit from the skills and expertise of older workers. * Employee-paid and partial pension programs are relatively inexpensive for employees.

The downside * Company-paid programs are costly for employers. * This option requires careful planning and management of benefits.

Positive practices * Set and document a timeframe for the employee’s retirement. * Provide pre-retirement planning courses for the retiree. * Allow employees to transition into less stressful jobs, if desired. * Offer temporary or relief work or short-term contracts to retirees.

3.2 Flex the place
Technological innovations have resulted in a wide range of options for working from home, from satellite offices or from remote locations, all collectively known as telework.

Telecommuting.
Telecommuting involves doing regular work from home. This arrangement may be permanent or temporary, part time or full time or a set portion of the workweek. Telecommuting usually relies on communications technology like a telephone, fax machine or home computer linked to the main office.

The upside * Employees can adjust their work schedules to accommodate personal needs. * Employees save time and costs in travel, parking and personal expenses. * Many telecommuting workers show increases in productivity as they find fewer distractions or interruptions working at home. * Employers may be able to save on office space and operating costs. * Employers can broaden the recruitment pool or employee base to include people who cannot or do not want to commute to work.

The downside * Some work is not well suited to telecommuting. * Some employees are not well suited to telecommuting
(E.g. people who do not work well independently, “workaholics” who find it difficult to leave the work alone, “people persons” who would find this too isolating). * Some home environments are not well suited to telecommuting (e.g. homes with pre-school children or homes without adequate workspace may be problematic). * This option may have a negative effect on teamwork, team spirit or a sense of belonging. * Employers may find scheduling meetings, training or distributing the workload more challenging.

Positive practices * Check out insurance coverage and liability issues, including WCB requirements. * Identify required equipment and supplies and how they will be provided, monitored and maintained. * Define occupational health and safety requirements (e.g. ergonomic work stations, lighting) and how these will be assessed and assured. * Identify security and confidentiality requirements for work documentation. * Ensure long-term dependent care is in place.

3.3 FLEX THE JOB
Maybe the job itself needs to change, not just the time allocation. “Flexing the job” involves a basic reconsideration of how you define what a job is and how you divide these tasks into different job categories. Is there another way you could divide up the work tasks? Can you re-cluster and repackage responsibilities to create more balanced work assignments? Job redesign or job sharing are two options to consider.
Job redesign
Job redesign focuses on changing the job responsibilities or processes significantly in order to achieve a more balanced set of responsibilities. Job redesign requires a careful look at job tasks, expected results and how you measure success.
The upside * This option challenges the assumptions, encourages creative problem solving. * A wide range of options can be considered. * This option can get at the underlying reasons for job stress.

The downside * This can be a time-consuming process. * It requires specific (possibly external) skills in job analysis and redesign. * Employees may be resistant to change.

Positive practices * Make it a collective undertaking, involving workers, co-workers, union representatives and customers, veryone who would be impacted by the change. * Analyse the job tasks, including where, how, with what or with whom the work is done. * Define the expected results of the job and how you will measure success (e.g. quantity, quality, speed, revenue). * Identify different (and creative!) alternatives for when, where and how these objectives might be realized. * Compare a cluster of similar jobs, looking for opportunities and cost-efficiencies by redistributing work assignments

Job sharing
Job sharing is a form of permanent part-time work where two people share the responsibilities, hours, salary, and benefits of one full-time job. The split may be equal (50-50) or another combination (e.g. 60-40) or it may alternate (e.g. three days one week, two the next). Common configurations are morning/afternoon splits, half-week splits (Monday to Wednesday noon, Wednesday noon to Friday afternoon) or alternating weeks. Compensation and benefits are split according to the percentage of full-time hours worked by each employee.

The upside * This option widens the employer’s base of potential employees. * Job sharers report higher levels of job satisfaction and work-life balance. * It may offer the benefit of greater combined skills and expertise (e.g. “ two heads are better than one”). * The employer is able to share office space and reduce overhead costs.

The downside * Job sharers have to settle differences in work styles and standards. * Training benefits or stipends may have to be shared (leaving less for each partner) * The employer has increased time or costs in supervising two employees. * Clients or customers may not want to be shared.

Positive practices * Ensure partners respect and trust each other, communicate and collaborate well. * Establish tools and processes for clear communication (e.g. logbooks). * If possible, have both partners keep to a regular schedule. * Plan for some overlap time for planning and co-ordinating. * Ensure co-workers and clients are informed of the arrangement. * Define how vacations, holidays and sick leave will be handled.

3.4 Flex the benefits
One-size-fits-all benefit packages are not well suited to a diverse workforce. Offering a range of benefit options and flexibility in selecting the employee’s preferred choices or the amount of coverage allows employees to create a personalized package tailored to meet individual needs and wants.

Leaves
This is a very broad category that includes a wide range of options for taking job-protected time off from work, some of which are legally required, such as vacations and maternity leave. Leaves may be paid, unpaid or self-funded and are negotiated as part of a collective agreement or established by the employer. In some situations, Employment Insurance benefits may be available to an employee on leave. Typically, leaves are formal arrangements and may form part of the employment contract. Examples of leaves include: * Bereavement Leave—granted to an employee for bereavement following the death of a family member. * Compassionate care leave—for employees to provide care to a gravely ill or dying spouse or common-law partner, child or par-ent that has a significant risk of death within six months. Employees can access Employment Insurance benefits for com-passionate care leave provided they are eligible.

* Extended leave—granted to an employee for an arranged, extended leave. * Maternity leave—birth mothers employed for 52 consecutive weeks with the same employer are entitled up to 15 weeks of job-protected leave. Employees can access Employment Insurance benefits for maternity leave provided they are eligible. * Parental leave—birth mothers, fathers and adoptive parents employed for 52 consecutive weeks with the same employers are entitled up to 37 weeks of job-protected leave. Employees can access Employment Insurance benefits for parental leave, provided they are eligible. * Personal leave—time off for personal reasons. Most employers limit the number of personal days per year. * Professional development leave—time off to take work-related courses. * Self-funded leave—the employee volunteers to receive a reduced salary for a period of time in exchange for a leave from work without loss of position or benefits. For example, an employee receives 80 per cent of his or her salary for four years and takes the fifth year off also at 80 per cent salary. * Sick leave—time off when an employee is ill. Employees can access Employment Insurance benefits for sick leave provided they are eligible.

The upside * There is a broad range of leave options to consider. * Options can closely target individual employee needs. * References and sample policies are readily available.

The downside * There are cost implications. * It requires careful negotiation and definition. * It may be time-intensive to negotiate terms.

Positive practices * Employees could pool or donate hours for the benefit of a coworker in need. * Employees could self-fund employment benefits while on extended leave. * Employees may use sick days to care for a sick child. * Employees may take a certain number of personal days with “no questions asked.” * Employees may take time off in lieu of overtime.
Dependent care
This category focuses on employees who support dependents, typically dependent children or elderly relatives. It includes a range of options such as on-site child care, emergency child care or elder care, information and referral services or financial assistance for dependent care.
The upside * On-site child care can cut commuting time and allow employees to see their children during breaks. * Emergency child care can meet employee’s needs when the child or caregiver is ill. * Information and referral services can save considerable time and stress for employees.
The downside * On-site child care can require considerable start-up and operating costs. * Some worksites are not ideal environments for child care services. * Some employees prefer to have family members or friends provide dependent care.

Positive practices * Provide as broad a benefit as possible (e.g. include dependent care or elder care instead of just child care). * Allow employees as much choice as possible (e.g. financial subsidy provided and the employee chooses the caregiver, subject to approval). * Provide a range of options, in combination if possible (e.g. referral services and financial support). * Provide or contract for dependent care in emergency 20 or special circumstances (e.g. school holidays).

EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS
Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) assist employees and family members with a range of personal concerns that may negatively affect employees’ job performance, including substance abuse, mental health issues, family, financial, or marital problems, and legal or emotional stress. EAPs are typically pre-arranged by the employer and contracted to a local community organization or to an external company specializing in this type of service. Under many plans, employees and their family members can access counsellors through a toll-free line. After discussing the concern with the employee, the counsellor may refer the caller to appropriate community resources if specialized or long-term treatment is required.

The upside * There is a broad range of support, services and packages to choose from. * Both workers and their families may benefit. * Employees are offered accessible, 24-hour, confidential support. * A professional judgement can be made as to whether the employee is in need of long-term counselling assistance.

The downside * Choosing providers and programs may be a daunting task. * Costs may be prohibitive for small organizations.

Positive practices * Carefully research and select EAP program providers, considering credentials, experience, expertise, location, scope of services, hours of service, fees, quality and process of referrals. * Consult with industry associations for potential group plans (clusters of several companies creating some economies of scale) * Train and support supervisors in effective use of the program. * Communicate the terms and benefits of the EAP to employees and family members. * Promote the program with obvious endorsement of senior management.

Wellness programs
Wellness programs exist to assist with and educate employees about achieving and maintaining good physical, mental, emotional and social health. A broad range of information, services and programs fall under this title, including health-related education and training, health screenings, stress management, quit smoking programs, weight management, ergonomics assessment and workplace safety.

The upside * Wellness programs are often viewed positively by employees. * There is a broad range of options to consider. * Employers report gains in employee retention, morale and productivity. * Employers report reductions in health-care costs and accidents.

The downside * Facility, location or size of the operation may limit affordability of options. * Cost factors need to be considered.

Positive practices * Make participation in wellness programs voluntary. * Encourage employees to take a leadership role in areas of wellness expertise. * Consider incentives (e.g. course fees reimbursed in part or in full). * Allow for individual as well as corporate pursuits. * Provide what you can (e.g. if you can’t afford to put in a fitness facility, put in showers and lockers so people can bike to work).

3.5 OTHER IDEAS BASED ON PUBLIC SURVEYS * Casual dress Fridays * Lunchrooms, to encourage people to meet and eat together * More relaxing (home-like) furnishings in a gathering area * Furnishings, decorations or points of interest (e.g. fish tank) * That cause people to “take a breather” * Employee bulletin boards for posting personal notes or requests (e.g.TV for sale, seeking carpool partners) * Personal space rooms (e.g. retreat with a minor illness). * Generously proportioned couches for naps * Private phone rooms or booths to make personal calls. * Breakfast at company expense * No responses to e-mails required on weekends * No meetings between 8 and 9 a.m., leaving the first hour of the day free to catch up on work and with co-workers * No meetings every second Friday, allowing people to get more done and free up their weekends * Scheduled breaks in the workday—middle, beginning or end of the day * Social events or mixers to strengthen at-work friendships * Family events to strengthen family/work connections * Understanding and support * Workplace tours, videos, photo diaries or “bring your child to work days ” to help family members understand and support the employees’ work commitment * Grandparent’s day off to spend with grandchildren * Provide day care and after-school care at the work site * On-site fitness centres, opening fitness centres to family member * Subsidies or passes to local fitness centres * Bringing wellness into the workplace (e.g. massage therapists, yoga) * On-site convenience store * On-site rink, walking trails, basketball court, barbecue 24. on-site dry cleaning service * On-site cyber café * Staff parking * Taxi vouchers or bus fare for unplanned overtime * Concierge services (e.g. shopping, pet walking, housecleaners or contractors) * Automobile pickup and servicing * Supper brought in for unplanned overtime * Bulk discounts for ski passes * Discounts on any company products * Brokered discounts at popular retail outlets, restaurants, clubs or for car insurance * Tuition reimbursements or subsidized living costs while employees are at school * Scholarships for children of employees 36. Low-interest loans * No-interest loans * Paid memberships in community associations or local teams * Limits to mandatory overtime * Eliminate travel on sunday to allow families to be together for a full weekend * Eliminate mandatory saturday night layovers for business trips * Pay for employees to take a spouse along on a business trip * Learning or wellness accounts * Tickets to local theme parks, ballet, sporting events * Company picnics, dinners, parties, golf tournaments * Work/family account (a set amount to spend as they see fit) * Pay for lessons not related to work * Pay for meals or a housekeeper for a grieving family * A thank-you card to an employee * A thank-you card to the employee’s family * Well-behaved pets in the workplace * On the spot “good work” awards * Work schedules that align with the bus schedule * Policy that employees must take vacations * Paid leave each month or each year to a volunteer * Volunteering together as a work team * Charitable contributions earned by volunteer work

CHAPTER 4 - EMPOYER AGENDAS TO IMPROVE WORK LIFE BALANCE

What will work for the workplace? The answer will be as unique as the employees and there is usually no single solution. In fact, one will probably need to consider a number of related changes. Whether employer’s plans are modest or grand, the following five steps will help you shape a clear and positive process.
4.1 Step 1 Check it out: Needs assessment Questions you need to ask * Why do you think there is a problem with work-life balance? What measures do you have to quantify this problem? * What is being done now or has been done in the past to address work-life balance? * How effective have these actions been? * What do your actions or those of your supervisors say about work-life balance? * What are the demographics of your workforce? (e.g. gender, age range, number of employees with children, employees withmspecial needs because of disabilities or religious obligations) * What are the interests, needs and work-life issues of your employees? * What do your employees think the company can or should do to support work-life balance? * What do your company policies say about work-life balance? How do people work and interact with each other, and what does that say about work-life balance? * What are the business goals of your company and the work unit? How will a work-life balance strategy help achieve the goals of the business plan? * What positions or work areas would benefit from work-life options? * What are the job tasks and requirements of each position or work area? * How will these influence the choice of work-life options? * What types and combinations of work-life practices can you consider? * What supports would be required for each option?

4.2 Step 2 Figure it out: Plan the Right Mix

There is no one-size-fits-all solution. If your company is in manufacturing, for example, you may not be able to offer flexible hours, but you could offer a more flexible leave package. Start small and do what you can, making sure your practices fit your : * Employee Needs * Work Tasks * Business Goals * Budget Parameters * Support Systems (E.G. Technology, Systems, Facility) * Relevant Legislation (E.G. Occupational Health And Safety, Employment Standards)

A culture fit
A good program is never enough. Your work-life program will need to be set in a supportive culture where practice supports policy. (If, for example, the employee handbook says you can work part time but part-time employees never earn promotions, it isn’t a credible option.) Your workplace needs to consistently reinforce the message that “work-life balance is important and valued here.” If this is a new emphasis for your organization, change will take time. Steps to move the markers include:

* Clearly demonstrating strong, obvious and consistent support from senior management * Training and coaching supervisors and managers * Sharing stories and supporting information from newspapers or magazines * Providing information briefings and communication pieces to promote the business case for your company * Defining accountability measures (e.g. Write it into job descriptions) * Providing rewards and recognition for creative approaches to support work-life balance * Communicating and celebrating how work-life balance is a win-win for individuals and the company.

Sometimes a work-life balance program can suffer from an “employee backlash” if it is seen as a benefit for one group only. Try to create policies that are open to as wide a group of workers as possible. For example, rather than establishing a child care policy, broaden your plan to include any employee with a dependent, such as an aging relative. Let everyone know how this option will benefit the entire company, not just one subgroup of the workforce.
4.3 Step 3 Try it out: Implementation
If and how you measure return on investment is a business decision. If yours is a small operation, the smiles on your employees’ faces or the talk around the coffee machine may be the only evidence you need. If you want a more formal assessment, you will need two kinds of information: baseline data (the way things were before making the change) and the same measures taken after a reasonable length of time (long enough to make a difference).The kind of data you may wish to collect to evaluate return on investment might include: * Rates of absenteeism, turnover, overtime or other indicators * Employee satisfaction measures * Productivity targets and results * Exit interview data * Employee participation statistics (who or how many participate in the program, distribution by key variables like position, gender, age group, work unit) * Program evaluations from participants in the program * Co-workers and supervisors of participants administrators of the program * Customers or clients * Program administration costs
4.4 Step 4 Spell it out: Communication
Communication is key. Employees need to know what options are available to them, how each option works and how they can apply. It is important to communicate how the program will benefit the entire organization, even to individuals or work units that cannot participate. Otherwise, these individuals will see this program as a “perk” or “secret deal” for a select group and possibly something that will infringe upon their own rights and benefits.
One’s communication can and should take many forms, such as: * Briefing sessions * Staff memos * Notices in the lunchroom * Company newsletters * Intranet notices or faq (frequently asked questions) * Information brochures to family members * Interviews and news articles about success stories
Remember that any communication needs to be two-way. How will employees let you know what they think about this policy? How will they ask questions or provide input for continuous improvement? Finally, keep talking. The need to communicate continues as long as you have this program in place.

Employee Proposals
How does an employee apply to participate in a work-life option? It might be as simple as talking to the owner or supervisor. However, there are certain advantages to putting something down on paper. A written proposal will: * Help employees organize their thoughts and clarify the specifics * Help employees think through the personal impact, both pros and cons * Document the request and resulting decision(s) * Hold managers accountable for their decisions * Help make the process more consistent * Serve as a basis of understanding or formal agreement

4.5 Step 5 Work it out: Lead by example
Whether or not employees can or even want to participate in a work-life option is often up to a direct supervisor or owner. Here actions speak louder than words— the supervisor who says work-life balance is important but works excessive hours and rewards only those who work long hours as well sends a very clear message about what is really valued in your organization. If participating in or even expressing an interest in a flexible work option brands an employee as less committed, not a team member, not management-material, then these programs are more risk than reward. What steps can you take to earn the buy-in of these key players? Most of all, the owner and senior managers need to “walk the talk.” Unless supervisors model it and culture confirms it, your employees will know that work-life options are just so much window-dressing: a great presentation, but anyone can see right through it.

CHAPTER 5 - 10 TIPS TO THE HR MANAGER * Hire the right people. Recruit managers who are committed to achieving business goals without overtaxing employees or work teams, and who have good listening skills. * Provide the skills through training, reference material, coaching or mentoring, to ensure managers know why and how to support work-life balance. Investing in these tangible supports will tell managers that your company is serious about work-life balance. * Provide the tools such as information brochures, proposal templates, criteria for evaluating employee proposals and checklists for implementing a program. * Provide the systems to support the program and measure its results, such as opportunities for staff to provide feedback, data collection and analysis services, and avenues for managers to ask questions and seek advice in overseeing flexible work arrangements. * Give them authority to make decisions that will support work-life balance for individuals or for the work unit. These might be * On-the-spot decisions (allowing an employee to leave early) or the right to turn down a project that will strain the resources of the work unit. * Give them latitude to find a better or different way to improve work-life balance for employees and to be creative in how they interpret and apply the flexible working arrangements. * Make them responsible to “own” the decision by directly approving or communicating decisions to employees about work-life balance applications. * Make them accountable for setting targets (e.g. for participation in work-life balance programs, for results such as reduced absenteeism) and include the targets in position descriptions and performance agreements. * Recognize and reward achievements. For example, tie performance bonuses to supports for work-life balance or establish annual awards for work units that meet targets for both productivity and work-life balance. * Celebrate successes. Feature case studies, publish stories and communicate gains and benefits of work-life balance in company.

CHAPTER 6 - ARGUMENT AGAINST THE HYPE FOR WORK LIFE BALANCE * Most people view life's goal is to be happy. I believe that's misguided. If the goal is happiness, one could, for example, spend all your time gardening, watching comedies, having sex, etc. Yet if everyone did that, the planet would be far worse: Patients would die, homes wouldn't get built and products wouldn't be invented. * Not A Worthy Goal
Mother Teresa didn't work in the stench of Calcutta streets, ankles bitten by scorpions, because it made her happy. She did so because helping humankind was far more important than her being happy. Cardiologists who choose to work nights and weekends to keep more patients alive realize their life is more meaningful than if they had opted for the vaunted work-life balance. Even the supposedly lowly payroll clerk, who after the standard workweek takes work home to ensure everyone is paid accurately and on-time, is living a far worthier life than someone who diverted that time to recreation. * Climbing the organizational ladder often requires employees to work long hours and deal with difficult and complex issues. Some days on the job are likely fun and positive and other days are tension-filled and stressful. A common dilemma for many people is how they manage all of the competing demands in work and life and avoid letting any negative effects of work spill over into their personal lives.

* Research has in fact shown that employees who believe they do not have time for the personal life feel drained and distracted while they are at work. In addition, the spill over of negative aspect of work into an employee’s personal life can lead to job exhaustion, disruption of relationships with family and friends, loss of enjoyment, and increased stress.
However, some people appear to manage career success and a positive private life with ease. Here are a few pointers: * Strive for work-life effectiveness—not balance. * Define success in all categories of your life. * Maintain control.

To conclude
IF YOUR SUCCESS IS NOT ON YOUR OWN TERMS, IF IT LOOKS GOOD TO THE WORLD BUT DOES NOT FEEL GOOD IN YOUR HEART, IT IS NOT SUCCESS AT ALL.

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