A survey conducted by the American Institute of Stress found that 43% of working adults suffer some type of stress- related health effects; an equal number report losing 1 hour or more a day in productivity due to stress.
Every business wants to be the best and with that comes an intense emphasis on over achievement, resulting in a stress filled corporate culture. People who take their contributions to their company this seriously are admirable, no doubt. But how serious is too serious? How can an organization acknowledge ones tremendous output while emphasizing the importance of work life balance? Encouraging employees to work hard and exceed objectives is fundamental, but constantly raising the bar to an ever intensifying standard is not always synonymous with a successful organization.
You want to motivate and instill drive in your employees, but you do not want to go too far and create an anxiety ridden environment. As a Manger, Team Lead, or Human Resources professional, you know all too well how tough of a task this is. How can you drive home the mantra ‘work to live, don’t live to work’, without running the risk of creating an employee culture that is too lax? Alternately, how can you encourage the most intense to occasionally take their foot off the gas and relax a bit?
Transparency – Be honest with your employees, discussing with them where they thrive and where you are noticing they need to improve. With that, make sure they have the resources they need in order to up their game.
Realistic Requirements – Create enough work to keep people busy but not so much work that they’re perpetually playing catch up.
Metrics Driven Performance Reviews – On a monthly basis, quantify each employees output against their productivity goals. This tangible metric will help you to quickly see who is – or isn’t – taking advantage of the work-life balance mantra.
Reverse Feedback – Encourage employees to share their thoughts with you. Do they feel the company is being run to the best of its abilities? Are they able to go home at the end of each day feeling accomplished, or do they have anxiety about there not being enough hours in a day?
Don’t Demand Off the Clock – Discourage work related emails, phone calls, and project submittals from happening after hours.
By creating an environment that is strict enough to motivate but realistic enough to foster work-life balance, workplace stress will decrease and increased production will increase. It takes a team to succeed and it takes a team to fail; one person can only do so much.