Old New Year’s Resolutions? Why Senior Management Should Promote Work-Life Balance

According to a 2015 Gallup study, about 50 percent of the 7,200 adults surveyed left a job “to get away from their manager.”

On the other hand, half of those surveyed who fully agreed with the statement “I feel I can approach my manager with any type of question” are considered actively engaged in their work, reports Wall Street Journal, a strong indicator that manager openness may be tied to worker productivity, summarizes Forbes.

On average, almost a quarter of full-time employees plan to change jobs at year’s end. Can your firm afford this much employee turnover due to bad management?

“Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, said offering frequent recognition, merit bonuses, training programs and clearly defined career paths are important ways to show workers what they mean to the company,” writes Chad Brooks, a BusinessNewsDaily contributor.

Career paths are often dictated, if not totally controlled, by an employee’s manager. So if communication is poor—so is, most likely, employee performance

In addition, of the 79 percent of employees who do not plan to leave their jobs at the end of the fiscal year, many cite work-life balance satisfaction—also a contributor to job unhappiness—as the source.

So if positive work-life balance, coupled with good management, leads employees to stay with their firm, isn’t it time your law firm reevaluate its promotion policies and perks?

Time and time again, companies, including law firms, have acknowledged the advantages of offering Flex scheduling.

This may mean working one day per week, or every two weeks, remotely.

“I work a four-day week which is incredibly valuable, and I’ve been really encouraged to see that some of my male colleagues have switched to working flexibly so that they can meet the demands of a young family,” says Lauma Skruzmane about her city law job to Yahoo News.

“For me, this also underlines the fact that balancing work and family is not to be branded a ‘women’s’ issue, but it is a challenge that all parents, or other careers, face.”

But parents aren’t the only demographic looking for flexible hours.

Working from home can be a relief for anyone. Perhaps your law office is experiencing temporary negativity in its corporate culture. Maybe the office has become of hub for gossip or distraction.

Whatever the reason, traditional workspaces may not be the most productive environment for all your associates. Allow them to take advantage of new media and technology, which often means anybody can be digitally anywhere at any time. Remind your management that good work doesn’t necessarily mean office work.

A healthy work-life balance also means adequate exercise.

Sign your firm up with a local gym. Give your employees incentive to work out at lunch or after dinner. Exercise will help improve efficiency and productivity among your staff by relaxing the brain and increase endorphins in the body. Exercise is one of those old New Year’s Resolutions–one that everybody tries and many people quit. Make it stick in 2016.

Finally, lead by example. Take coffee breaks. Make time for face-to-face visits with your employees. And, don’t miss your child’s first student bake-sale because you felt obligated to stay an extra hour at the office.

Let you employees take five every once in awhile or risk taking their two-weeks notice.

And finally, train your managers to understand that additional perks often lead to higher performance, as well as happiness, in their work force. In the end, senior staff should provide the model for team members to emulate and even admire.

New year, new laws, more headaches for employers.

Each year, the federal courts and state legislatures are busy altering the landscape of employment laws, and usually to the employer’s detriment. To avoid costly litigation, employers must stay abreast of annual changes impacting the workplace.

Figuring out how to adapt quickly to accommodate employee rights and manage employer responsibilities can be daunting. It’s even harder to comply with legal obligations you don’t even know you have.

Learn more in C4CM’s audio course here.


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