A 2015 study from the Ministère de la Famille du Québec uncovered a gap between what employers offer and what employees actually want.
Although 90% of employers stated that they offered work-life balance measures, 36% of parent respondents—and 72% of respondents with atypical work schedules (evenings, nights and weekends)—reported being offered none.
These are striking findings: as it turns out, employers and employees definitely don’t see eye to eye on the matter.
Tips on How to Better Meet Your Staff’s Needs
According to the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés (CRHA), employers and employees benefit from work-life balance measures in many ways.
These measures are linked to lower stress and fatigue, a correlative increase in productivity and creativity, as well as better staff retention.
1. Offer Benefits Beyond Pay
Working conditions are paramount to workers: 55% of Québec parents reported they’d change jobs to enjoy better work-life balance measures, and 37% would even be willing to suffer an income drop in the process.
Here are a few benefits you can put in place:
- Flexible working hours;
- A telework policy;
- Condensed work weeks;
- More paid vacation days;
- An employee assistance program (EAP);
- Sponsored sporting activities;
- Child-care services in the workplace; and
- Total or partial tuition reimbursement.
Peoples’ lives don’t revolve only around work. Employers have a lot to gain by offering conditions that help their staff flourish in all aspects of their life.
And be sure to lead by example. If you take advantage of these benefits, your team will feel freer to do so as well.
2. Better Manage Employee Working Hours
Parents aren’t the only ones having a hard time juggling work and family. Per Guylaine Deschênes, CRHA, two thirds of Canadians are stressed out by their work schedules and a lack of time or energy.
As such, managing working hours and vacation time properly is key to promoting staff wellbeing—especially for employees with atypical schedules, whose time management is much more complex.
Make sure you respect your employee availability and preferences when you create their schedule. You can use a scheduling software to facilitate all your employee management tasks.
It’s also essential not to put too much importance on working hours. Nobody should feel obligated to do overtime.
For instance, make sure you have enough employees so that you aren't overworking your team. Consider hiring if you feel their workload is getting too heavy.
3. Ask Your Employees
Did you know that 49% of Québec parents don’t take full advantage of the work-life balance measures that their employers offer? It turns out they prefer solving problems on their own…
To me, this suggests that most of the measures employers establish aren’t suited to their employees, or that there's some kind of taboo around benefiting from them. This is a problem no matter how you cut it.
Family and personal obligations are part of life, but a new parent’s reality just isn’t the same as a young childless professional’s. Hence the importance of asking your employees if the measures you’re offering hit the mark. Of course, when you do so, make sure to go through confidential channels.
For example, team management platform Officevibe lets you set up anonymous polls to get staff feedback on various topics, so you can make adjustments as necessary.
Sound HR Management Methods
By offering optimal working conditions—including better work-life balance measures—you take a big step toward ensuring the wellbeing of your staff.