7 Strategies for Cultivating and Sustaining Well-being & Work-Life Balance in Your Team

Maintaining work-life balance boosts employee wellbeing, engagement, productivity, and retention. Let's explore the significance of these aspects and dive into ways you can support your employees.

Do you know why maintaining a work-life balance is essential for employee well-being? A short answer lies in the famous proverb: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” 

It’s seen that when work starts creeping into an employee's personal life, it interferes with their biological rhythms, interpersonal relationships, and ability to plan for their futures. This, in turn, impacts well-being, the lack of which leads to stress and poor performance. 

Trends indicate that employee well-being and work-life balance issues have magnified post-pandemic as employees were allowed to work from home. Although remote work and flexible schedules allow employees to leverage their agency to their advantage and take breaks throughout the day, employees often find that boundaries between work and life are blurred.

  • According to a survey, 59% of employees feel a lack of well-being, negatively impacting their performance
  • Frontline workers, in particular, find it even more difficult to draw boundaries.  Research highlights that 37% of deskless workers plan to quit jobs within six months, primarily due to a lack of work-life balance, often aggravated by shifts that affect the circadian rhythm and long working hours. 

How do we address this issue around employees' work-life balance and well-being?

Read on for clarity on what work-life balance and well-being entail. Get clues on actionable strategies to enhance work-life balance and well-being to create a supportive work environment. 

What is work-life balance, and how does it impact employee well-being?

"Remember that work and life coexist.
Wellness at work follows you home, and vice versa."

Melissa Steginus, Productivity and Wellness Specialist

Work-life balance is the ideal equilibrium between one's professional and personal life, where one does not disturb the other to the extent it’s realistically possible. Ensuring this balancing act requires one to be able to categorize personal life and job tasks and disconnect without guilt. 

Research confirms that

Conversely, the negative impact is almost immediate if this delicate equilibrium is disrupted:

  • In the short term, it results in a range of physical and mental health issues and reduced productivity. 
  • Organizations begin to notice increased attrition rates and employee disengagement in the long term. 

Considering these facts, you must take the lead and ensure work-life balance among employees.  

How to create a work environment that supports employee wellbeing & work-life balance?

1. Establish communication boundaries

Implement an organizational culture emphasizing work-life balance and well-being by setting communication boundaries. If employees feel disturbed in their personal lives due to their workplace, it impacts their well-being significantly. 

France, for example, recognized this. While emphasizing workers' rights, the country implemented the "right to disconnect" policy, which empowers the country’s employees to spend quality time at home and turn off emails after working hours. You can implement such notification-related boundaries in several ways, including

  • Implementing an asynchronous culture that doesn’t penalize those who don’t respond immediately. You need to allow a permissible time lag between initial communication and the expected response. This can also address practical challenges among frontline and deskless workers who need more time to respond to communication.

  • Maintain a healthy boundary by establishing guidelines for better use of technology. This is possible using an employee experience platform tailored to your brand. For example, you could include a "Do Not Disturb" feature in your app. This way, employees can choose between being available and unavailable, depending on their situation. Simultaneously, those who prefer to stay connected can also continue doing so. Doing so can significantly boost the employee experience alongside their work-life balance and well-being.

2. Celebrate employees' achievements

Working hard without being recognized for their efforts can cause resentment among employees. It also hampers overall well-being, reduces motivation and engagement, and impacts retention and performance rates. 

As an employer, you must make their achievements feel special to enhance their well-being and morale. This is possible by

  • Recognizing your employees' critical professional and personal accomplishments on a visible forum. 
  • Sending push notifications on occasions like someone’s birthday or anniversary so the team can celebrate together and employees feel special.
  • Tracking individual work performance metrics periodically and sharing outstanding performers to boost motivation and spirit.

3. Avoid overburdening 

Overloading employees with more work or information than they can handle causes health problems, mental stress, and fatigue and triggers emotional instability. In addition, it results in poor decision-making and reduced performance - all of which are outcomes of poor work-life balance and well-being. To address this, you can 

  • Use the chunking method to break down larger pieces of information into smaller ones. For example, create a communication calendar that explores one specific idea at a time.
  • Map all your training, work, and communication-related material to be visualized under clear categories and classifications to make them easy to consume.
  • Instead of having your team complete all the tasks simultaneously, spread them thoughtfully according to realistic timelines.

4. Prioritize physical and mental health programs

A lack of work-life balance causes burnout and stress, which leads to both physical and mental health issues. This impacts employee well-being significantly, and you can address it by 

  • Creating awareness campaigns to address mental health stigma and commonly prevalent physical ailments such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes. 
  • Disseminating mental health resources through short-form videos and text on your employee app. 
  • Encouraging attendance at company-promoted fitness classes and wellness workshops. Implementing this is simple through driving notifications via your employee app.

5. Implement DEI policies

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion(DEI) policies in the workplace are fundamentally connected to employee well-being. DEI promotes productivity, fosters physical and mental health, and helps achieve work-life balance.  Interestingly, more than 33% of workers claimed they would change jobs to join a more inclusive team as it impacts their well-being. 

To enhance well-being organization-wide,

  • Weave DEI guidelines into your communication campaigns and ensure they are followed in all your communications. 
  • Use anonymous text and private message features to collect data regarding how to make your team more inclusive for every employee. 
  • Observe DEI metrics and iterate your communication style to suit your employees’ needs. 

6. Foster respectful and nuanced communication 

A lack of respect for work-life boundaries hampers employee well-being. 57% of employees who quit voluntarily cited disrespect as the primary reason for their resignation.  While the subjective perception of respect cannot be controlled, you can do certain things to show that you care and win employees’ trust:

  • To build a healthy connection, be humble in your communication style and avoid overly professional language. Younger employees especially respond well to smileys and memes.

  • Ensure employees know that all anonymous and private messages are sent over secure and encrypted networks, which shows you respect their privacy and security, thereby reassuring them. If necessary, assure your employees that the private messages and anonymous texts can be/will be deleted according to your policies. 

7. Focus closely on feedback, opinions, and KPIs

It's easy to miss what's important and valuable for your employees personally while focusing on the business side of things. This can lead to unintended actions that result in poor well-being or balance. To address this: 

  • Conduct regular surveys and interviews to gather opinions and information about employees' working and lifestyle conditions.
  • Analyze that information to identify gaps in work-life balance and employee pain points, which you can rectify. 
  • Watch out for absenteeism and poor performance as work-life balance and well-being indicators. Your employee app is an excellent place to discover clues and map out a plan to help.
  • Track the engagement and success of your different engagement campaigns by closely following metrics such as click-through rate (CTR) and click-to-open rate (CTOR). 

Bottom line: Take care of your employees as they take care of your organization.

Ensuring employee well-being and work-life balance is critical to keeping your workforce in good health and spirits, alongside ensuring they operate at peak productivity. This, in turn, requires focusing on several factors ranging from measured, respectful, and timely communication to initiatives promoting DEI alongside physical and mental well-being at work. 

With working styles drastically changing in recent years, implementing the required boundaries and strategies prioritizing employee well-being and work-life balance requires going beyond legacy approaches. A multi-pronged approach is needed to ensure the combination of in-office, remote, and frontline workers’ needs are addressed. 

A simple way to implement strategies for this balancing act is by using appropriate modern technology that ties the organization’s communication together. You can use feature-rich internal communication apps that allow fostering communication to create a culture of well-being, trust, and mutual respect while supercharging efficiency. In large organizations, such technology can also make it simple to recognize signs of plummeting well-being and work-life balance that may get overlooked otherwise. 

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