By: Shraga Jacobowitz
If you’re like most people, you don’t love change. When all is well, and all your team members appear at the office punctually, fulfilling their responsibilities in a timely fashion, it’s easy to just put your feet up on your mahogany desk, lean back in your leather executive chair, and close your eyes.
But in today’s age of technology and work-life balance, more and more employees are leaving their jobs for better working conditions. In fact, only 12% of workers who resign are leaving for better pay! That statistic likely makes you anxiously put your feet back down under the chair, wondering how you can improve working conditions to make today’s Gen Z’s stay in their jobs without seeking greener pastures.
With Work-Life Balance being today’s buzzword, it certainly makes sense that job seekers will prefer a position that promises stress-reducing opportunities.
Poor work-life balance can cause fatigue, poor health and faster burnout. How’s that for a recipe for disaster?
So, what can you, as an employer, do to help the situation?
Though I’m sure your employees would love you to build a gym for them, and establish mandated 30-minute naps daily, you are no doubt hoping to find an easier way to allow your employees to de-stress while still being productive.
Here are a few suggestions that will help your employees stay productive without costing you money or cutting into their worktime.
- Encourage employees to take breaks throughout the day
Let’s face it: Hard working people (yourself included) need to take breaks to recharge. Think back to those college days. Wasn’t it the dinner/socializing breaks, and the late-night snacks that kept you going?
Kidding aside, taking breaks helps us refocus, clarify things, restore motivation and boost creativity.
Even if you’re not taking breaks yourself, (a classical example of ‘do as I say, not as I do’) let your employees know that their lunch breaks are supposed to be breaks, and they are not expected to work while they eat. They’ll be happier knowing that their boss doesn’t expect them to be a powerhouse. And once they are back from their breaks, they will be more productive.
Some (not all) states require employers to pay for lunch breaks. Your PEO’s HR representative will be able to guide you as to whether your employees should be clocking out when they take their lunch breaks or not. A simple phone call will help you ensure that you are being compliant, while showing your employees that it’s okay to be human and need to air out sometimes.
- Keep after-hours as off-time
Did you ever get a call on your cell from a client during dinner? I did. And it was annoying.
Though most employees are afraid to say this, it is irritating to have your boss call you during your family time or while you’re at a restaurant with your sweetheart. Show respect for the privacy of your employees and allow them to keep their family time by only calling them in case of real emergency.
In fact, you may be required to pay overtime for phone calls you place to your employees after-hours. Your PEO’s HR team will once again be able to guide you on the laws vis a vis contacting employees during the evening.
- Be attentive to your team
We’ve all experienced it at one time or another: Work-place stress. Stress can cause a person to become short-tempered, anxious, cynical or fatigued, and will eventually lead to burnout if it’s not nipped in the bud. Take an interest in your employees, and if you notice that one of them is not working with the same enthusiasm, or seems unhappy, a caring conversation would be in order.
The problem might be easily solved, such as taking a day off to catch up on personal obligations, or reassigning a responsibility that is overwhelming them.
And as you know, if you can help your employees clear their minds, they will be happier and more productive. Contact ARC Consultants to find out how a PEO can help you implement HR practices that will reduce stress in the workplace.
- Urge your workers to use their PTO days
Americans work more hours and take less vacations than their European counterparts.
A recent Gallup poll showed 47 hours as the average U.S. work week. That’s 12 hours more per week than France, Germany and Sweden.
As if that’s not enough, according to the US Travel Association these poor overworked Americans left 705 million unused vacation days in 2017!
Now, if you’re thinking that those unused vacation days and additional hours worked are a boon for the employer, think again.