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Progress On Work-Life Balance

by The Authors on March 14th, 2012

Making sure employees maintain work-life balance not only benefits employees, but also the organization in terms of increased employee retention and productivity. Don’t be afraid of opening the door to dialogue on the subject of work-life balance. Research shows that when organizations create a more open and sensitive environment for addressing and resolving work-life balance issues, productivity and employee satisfaction increase. The fear that people will take undue advantage or stop working as hard is unfounded. In fact, research shows the opposite to be true.

Some organizations are creating work environments that prevent conflict between personal and professional lives, offering telecommuting options, family-friendly benefits (such as maternity and paternity leave), liberal vacation allowances, sabbaticals, job sharing, flexible work hours, and stress-reduction workshops. JPMorgan Chase, a leader in the financial services industry, is a case in point. The financial giant has demonstrated a real commitment to work-life balance through a variety of benefits and programs offered to employees at all levels. These include: Back-up Child Care—when an employee’s usual childcare arrangements fall through; Personal Assistant—a concierge service available to all employees that takes an employee’s “to-do” list and gets everything accomplished; Employee Assistance Program—professional, confidential counseling and referral services at no cost; Fitness & Health—discount health club memberships and equipment, and medical services; and Flexible Work—a variety of flexible work arrangements, including job sharing, compressed workweeks, flextime, telecommuting, and remote work. Manager work-life training, maternity and paternity leave, and special mentoring programs continue to make work-life balance a priority at JPMorgan Chase—and the results in terms of employee retention, fulfillment, and productivity are readily apparent.

Ultimately, the most important factor in achieving work-life balance is the communication and creative problem solving between employee and supervisor. When both employees and supervisors recognize the importance of maintaining healthy and productive work-life balances, they can resolve conflicts, make temporary adjustments, and develop long-term solutions. Have you achieved balance between your work and personal life? What else can you do to help yourself and your people achieve a better work-life balance? Do you have open communication with your direct reports and your direct supervisor about work-life balance issues? To learn more about how to take greater accountability for achieving better work-life balances in your team and organization, join our Accountability Community at www.ozprinciple.com.

Accountability Community is a registered trademark of Partners In Leadership Inc.

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