A positive trend that has come out of COVID-19 is the idea of work-life balance, especially as more companies realize their responsibility to employee success. Research from Glassdoor found that companies helped employees combat burn-out and fears of uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic by offering unlimited paid time off, a flexible working schedule, and the ability to work from anywhere.
For organizations wanting to hire and retain top talent, one of the best ways is to offer an environment in which employees feel their needs are being met in and outside of the workplace. With the pandemic causing a substantial shift towards how individuals want to incorporate home and work life together, companies need to respond in like.
Creating a Healthy Work Environment
Before a company starts developing a work-life balance culture, they first must speak with their team and their professional network. Listening to the needs of one’s employees is important to ensuring that you are helping them in the best way possible.
As companies look to change their workplace culture, some ways of gathering further insight include:
- Anonymous employee surveys.
- Trail periods of flexible work schedules.
- Speaking with HR managers of companies known for their workplace balance.
- Researching other companies’ work-life balance policies.
- Discussions with employees.
During this research stage, it is essential to gather what employees are struggling with the most or ask what type of service they would benefit from significantly. For instance, those with children might feel that working from home or having the ability to work around their children’s schedule might suit their needs better than a traditional nine to five work schedule.
Communicating Company’s Benefits
After discovering the needs of their employees, some companies might need to reconsider their messaging regarding their commitment to employee success. How companies frame this message is essential, as it can be used to attract new applicants to their open positions.
In a 2017 study from Monmouth University, researchers found that millennials were more attracted to a job that advertised a work-life balance culture than jobs that didn’t. Therefore, in attracting job applicants, a company’s message towards their work-life balance culture needs to be strong in describing potential benefits individuals will receive from working with the company.
Services a company can offer that job seekers could find valuable include:
- Flexible scheduling
- Hybrid work options
- Unlimited paid time off
- Mental health services
- Health & wellness programs
- Employee networking events
Some companies have even adopted a four-day workweek or instituted a summer Friday policy, in which the company closes on Fridays or is only open for half a day. While not all industries can provide these same services, some industries are able to offer individuals more work-life balance than offers. For instance, the technology field and the aerospace and defense industry have tied for first place as the best industry with a work-life balance, while industries such as hospitality and restaurant service rank among the lowest.
As we have seen individuals report record levels of burnout over the past two years respecting employees’ needs is critical in retaining and hiring top talent. Research from the American Staffing Association reported that 37% of people left their jobs in 2021 due to wanting a flexible work schedule while another 36% left due to wanting better benefits and perks. Therefore, as companies look to grow and increase productivity, their need to meet employees’ needs are now more important than ever in cultivating a thriving workforce.
In today’s work environment, it is essential to pay attention to what other companies do to take care of their employees, as more individuals look for a work-life balance. As HEPCO specializes in aerospace and defense and the technology industry, which have high levels of work-life balance, we have chosen to highlight some of our clients that work to create a positive work-life balance culture.
Listed by Forbes as one of America’s Best Large Employers, PSEG has a solid commitment to employee success. Some of their benefits include family access to counseling, their “Be Well” program, paid vacation, and tuition reimbursement for those looking to go back to school. In addition, they have childcare services and a “Voluntary Benefits Program” for those looking to give back to their local community.
More on PSEG’s benefits can be found in this prospective hire packet.
Northrup Grumman employees gain access to all their 13 “Employee Resource Groups” to help meet the needs and promote inclusion of all employees regardless of their professional and/or ethnic backgrounds. More on this program can be found on Northrup Grumman’s website.
This engineering and management firm offers part-time and full-time job positions, strong health benefits, and remote working opportunities. More about TRC’s benefits can be found on the career page.
The MTA is strongly committed to meeting its employees’ needs in terms of work-life balance. Despite benefits and paid time-off increasing with years of employment, all MTA employees receive generous paid time off, paid holidays, and paid sick days. After one year of service, employees will even have the opportunity to acquire personal days. To check out the benefits that vary across various parts of the MTA, check out their career webpage.