As a small business owner, you may be working long hours to get your business off the ground, or to take it to the next level, but should you expect the same work ethic from your team? Find out why it’s important to provide a good work-life balance for your team and how to achieve it in three small steps.
Ultimately you’ll have a goal in mind for you and your business, which might mean some personal short-term pain for long-term gain. Work life balance is very personal and yours could be blended with your business, but what if it is different for your staff?
Ultimately, if your team feel that they have a poor work life balance, it will lead to them being demotivated, and consequently less productive, they could even leave, which will be costly in terms of recruitment and training of new staff.
The work life balance of your team is important part of leading your business, and your current approach could be sending the wrong messages.
Here are three things you can do to change that:
1. Eliminate presenteeism
Are you the first in and the last out, and then sending emails over the weekend?
What message does that send to your staff. Even if you say that you don’t expect the same from them, your actions will speak louder than your words. Try being in the office during working hours, leaving promptly at the end of the day and work from home if you need to continue. Try not to send lots of emails outside working hours, you can save them to your drafts and release them during working hours.
Provide options, with technology many people can now seamlessly work from home, could you integrate more flexible options for staff, to decrease the toll of their daily commute.
2. Schedule meetings with care
Breakfast and after work meetings can play havoc with your teams work life balance, especially if they have caring responsibilities. Be mindful of how meeting times and locations could disadvantage members of your team and think carefully about being inclusive.
In addition, networking events, dinners, exhibitions can occur in the evening, and at weekends, don’t make these a pre requisite of the role; negotiate what is appropriate for your staff to attend.
3. Talk “play”
What do you talk about at work, is it all business, business, business? How about prioritising conversations about play, hobbies and interests. Show your team that these pursuits are also valued and that you recognise that they provide the balance they need.
Dr Robert Holden, describes happiness as balance, if you sit at a desk all day, you should do something physical to balance that out in the evening, such as badminton or swimming.
If you have a very physical job, perhaps you might enjoy reading, or mediation to provide the balance that you need. This will encourage staff to live a balanced life and not feel guilty for time away from work. They will be more refreshed and less stressed as a result.
Finally remember that you set the climate for your business, role model the behaviour that you want to encourage, your staff will follow suit and you may just benefit from an improved work life balance yourself.