Work-life balance: making it work for everyone
Recent surveys conducted by SEEK consistently reveal that work-life balance is one of the most important factors for a candidate looking for a new job. Both active and passive candidates have previously cited it as one of the top three drivers of attraction to an organisation. In fact, it can be the deciding factor when benefits, such as salary, are comparable across offers and roles.
If you're looking to understand if your work-life policies are helping or hindering your attraction process, start by understanding attitudes in your workplace towards flexibility. What do you currently have in place and how is it being demonstrated? What are your current employees and candidates looking for?
Questions to ask
- What does work-life balance mean to your organisation? Do you have a culture where flexibility and balance are encouraged and accepted, or is it seen as an administrative burden?
- Do you have practices that provide for all? Or is there an assumption that it is only employees and candidates with children who are looking for balance and flexibility?
- Do you have leaders and senior people in your organisation who are demonstrating flexibility and balance?
Employees often have complicated lives that change over time. Therefore, work-life balance can mean different things to different age groups and cultures. Younger employees may have caring responsibilities or be looking for flexibility to study or volunteer. Work-life balance doesn’t have to be a one size fits all policy. It’s about finding the balance that works, implementing it and regularly reviewing it to maintain its effectiveness. Make sure you aren’t making any assumptions about what will work for people and talk to your current employees to understand what they’re looking for from your organisation.
Using your flexibility and work-life policies through the advertising and attraction process will help set you apart from your competitors. Make sure your hiring managers have real-life examples of flexibility in action to help them through the interview and attraction process. Bringing the policy to life, and backing it up with examples of how it impacts everyone, turns it from lip service into an evidence-based insight on what it's like to work in your company.
Finally, don’t forget to communicate with those staff members who work conventionally. They need to be kept in the loop and encouraged to understand that working flexibly doesn’t mean working fewer hours.
The above video details firsthand what employees think about work-life balance.