Good work life balance makes for happy employees. And happy employees perform better! Our credo is not to live to work, but to work to live. I’d like to share eight work life balance strategies we practice at CFS that I believe makes us happier.
8 Work Life Balance Strategies for Happier Employees
Work life balance strategies for employees #1: We share what we enjoy
All of us talk about what we enjoy doing outside of work. Some of us love the outdoors, others enjoy going to movies, and others simply relish being with family.
One thing we discovered we all enjoy is cooking!
My Director of Marketing brought a small “lunch” crockpot to work every day. After a while she gave her coworker one as a gift. Not wanting to be left out, I bought one too. Now, we share what we made for lunch and go home with new ideas for a delicious meal. These conversations lead to wider topics about food and more insights about our personal lives in a non-intrusive way. This, in turn, fosters better chemistry with each other. And that makes working together much more fun!
Work life balance strategies for employees #2: We work less hours
What? Employees working less hours? Sounds crazy, right?
Not really. I’d rather have employees work fewer productive hours than longer unproductive ones.
We start at 10am and leave between 5:30pm and 6pm. Most of the time our goals for the day are accomplished. Regardless, we come back refreshed the next day to continue our work.
A few years back we extended our summer hours’ policy to all year round. Every Friday, work ends at 2pm. On holiday weekends, as a bonus, we’ll take an extra day off. This turns a long weekend into an even longer one. I’ve noticed that people work just as hard, if not harder and they get to spend more time in their personal lives.
Work life balance strategies for employees #3: We celebrate special occasions
We make a big deal out of birthdays. A cool greeting with the person’s name drawn on a flip chart is left at the front door. They’ll see it when they walk in. Sometimes it’ll have balloons attached and everyone on the team will have personally signed it. I can’t tell you how many individual and group selfies we’ve taken in front of that flip chart.
We’ll give an Amazon or Amex gift card, or even cash to celebrate a work anniversary. Flowers or a plant can add a nice touch too. A wedding anniversary gets the same treatment.
Work life balance strategies for employees #4: We believe in vacations
Our vacation packages scale annually, up to four weeks, for every year an employee has worked in the company. We give an extra day of paid leave as a thank you for a job exceptionally well done.
We’ve given cash for our employee to treat their significant other or themselves to a nice meal while on vacation. When someone returns, we take extra time at our weekly operations meeting to share vacation pictures and stories.
Work life balance strategies for employees #5: We help employees become financially independent
Besides providing a 401K with company matching, we invite the custodians of our plan to come onsite twice per year. They’ll give our employees individual investment and wealth preservation advice and help them with financial planning at no extra charge.
Work life balance strategies for employees #6: We talk about our weekend
People ask their coworkers what they’re planning for the weekend and on Monday morning we’ll share what we did. Instead of feeling guilty about talking of personal time, everyone is encouraged to talk about if freely and openly. Everyone is responsible for keeping a healthy balance between talking about personal and work activity.
Work life balance strategies for employees #7: We wind up and wind down our work days properly
I encourage all our employees to follow a simple process to start their day.
My beginning of day process:
- Check my calendar
- Check email
- Review my note pad and papers on my desk
- Set and review weekly goals.
This allows me to ease into my day and focus getting everything done without stress.
At the end of the day I have another process, so I don’t bring work stress into my personal life.
My end of day process:
- Review email
- Review my goals
- Look at the calendar for tomorrow and the rest of the week
- Acknowledge three things I’m grateful for and three people I helped
Work life balance strategies for employees #8: We focus on our health
We encourage everyone to focus individually on their health and well-being.
We’ve also done this as a group game. Some of us joined The Whole Life Challenge, which lasted several weeks, where we kept and compares scores in different categories. These included: diet, sleep, hydration, exercise, and a varying personal lifestyle practice such as meditating or cleaning out our closets.
I hope this gives you some good ideas for work life balance strategies for happy employees. I’d love to hear yours!
Looking to encourage healthy work life balance? Click here or on the image below to view our infographic: 5 Work-Life Balance Tips to Increase Productivity: A Quick Guide for Sales Professionals.