In our recently conducted survey for HR Trends 2012, one of the interesting facet that emerged was ‘Work Life Balance. This has emerged as one of the most critical dimensions which is going to affect an employee decision to continue in what they are doing or look for a change.
As much as organizations and HR are struggling to get the right formula for helping employees to achieve this magic mirage of balance, many of us are not able to cope up and are failing.
So where does the challenge lie, with the organizations, with the managers, with the endless wish list of stakeholders like investors, customers etc or within us as individuals?
An introspection reveals that each of the above elements have a role to play to make this problem more complex than ever. The solution too isn’t an easy text book formula.
The First step in addressing this challenge can be a beginning at the way we work i.e. address the individual and individual mindset both as Managers / Supervisors and as well as team members.
As Managers the biggest change we have observed is that decision making cycles in terms of timelines have been crushed because of faster movement of information with the help of technology. But the same technology is hampering us to achieve the desired balance by constant interference.
On one hand it is a good feeling to have that each one of us as managers are so critical for organizations that we need to be in the thick of action all the time at the same time it is a well known fact that organizations have survived even if the critical ‘CxO’ leave organizations or stop contributing, organizations have still survived and flourished, so where does this myth come from that ‘as manager if I don’t answer the mail in my blackberry the organization will collapse’
At the individual level the challenge lies in our constant need to prove to our managers our ability to crush deadlines all the time and revert. As much as organizations believe in SLAs as individuals we hardly have them for ourselves and adhere to them.
At The Strategist we believe that some simple steps can build a health work culture / ethos. The first and foremost is that the CxO and organizations should promote an SLA for response over blackberry & communication mediums. Secondly we should ensure that as an organization & managers we keep sometime off and should not feel guilty for it, for example can weekends be guilt free time and away from work. Thirdly what are rewards & recognition messaging, delivering in agreed timeline is important or keep posted every couple of hours.
Work life balance is a challenge which can’t be hushed away as elitist anymore.
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