Maintaining peak performance at work is often stressful and demanding. Responsibilities and deadlines can easily bleed over into a team member’s personal life. And the result can be anything from health problems, to burnout, to job dissatisfaction.
It’s in a leader’s best interest, then, to ensure the team is healthy, energetic and engaged in order to surpass company goals and maintain top productivity.
This starts with establishing a strong work ethic without infringing on too much personal time. Savvy leaders employ the following six secrets to help both their teams and themselves reach a delicate but successful work-life balance.
1Lead by example
Seeing their manager working 80 hours a week establishes the impression among employees that they should, too. Leaders, as much as any individual team member, need time off to recharge and enjoy personal time.
While it is often tempting for busy managers to work around the clock, through holidays and vacation times, they must remember that their actions set the tone for their employees.
2Don’t reward workaholics
Positively affirming team members who constantly stay late, take work home and work through the weekends is not a smart move for leaders trying to encourage a good work-life balance.
If management is seen as viewing these actions in a positive light, eventually that will become the norm.
The result will be that the work-life balance will suffer for everyone involved. While special projects requiring extra work are bound to come up periodically, weekend work and after-hours assignments should not be the norm and should not be rewarded.
3Encourage vacation time
It pays for employees to enjoy ample time away from their jobs in order to relax, pursue outside interests and connect with family and friends. A manager who proudly boasts, “Bob hasn’t taken a vacation day since 2013” probably doesn’t realise that Bob’s performance has slowly deteriorated.
This unfortunate philosophy is rampant. Business writer and travel enthusiast Lea Lane, for example, has pointed to research saying that 429 million vacation days expire every year in the United States. And that’s a waste: Companies offer paid time off so employees can de-stress and take advantage of personal time. And good leaders encourage and enforce this.
At Amerisleep, for example, we offer all salaried employees unlimited PTO since we trust they will take the time they need to fully rest and recharge before returning to the office.
In addition, managers should respect employees on vacation and avoid contacting them except in the most dire of emergencies. Being completely disconnected allows team members to totally unwind and return to work engaged and invigorated.
4Formulate work-life integration
Successful business leaders will understand there is a gray area within the work-life balance paradigm. According to a poll by Time, 42 percent of full-time U.S. employees positively view the use of technology to connect to work after hours.
Millennials, especially, do not mind answering an email at night or shooting out a work text over the weekend. What’s key here is to review performance as a whole, and seek to understand what energises your employees and what burns them out. If workers are happy answering email when they should otherwise unplug, reward them with benefits they may be more excited about.
5Adopt time-saving technology
While technology – computers, tablets and smartphones – has increased each employee’s connection to work, it also holds valuable solutions for managing work-life balance. Company directors can help their teams be more productive, while still respecting employees’ personal time: They can do this by researching and implementing applications and software solutions that help workers more efficiently complete projects.
Getting the most out of employees during work hours minimises the need to ask them to grind after-hours or on the weekends. In short, technology is invaluable in helping staff balance personal life with work life.
6Offer workplace flexibility
As mentioned, about work-life integration, many employees thrive when workplace flexibility is available to them. The 2015 Workplace Flexibility Study found that 87 percent of human resources leaders surveyed said they believed that workplace flexibility programs lead to employee satisfaction.
Team members are less likely to feel burdened and burned out by working an occasional night or a few hours over the weekend if they know they can take off early on Friday for a doctor’s appointment or a child’s recital. Telecommuting is another key area for flexibility that leaders can utilise to help their employees with work-life balance.
Clever leaders recognise they will reap much greater productivity out of happy, engaged employees. Achieving healthy work-life balance is a crucial part of creating a work atmosphere that is positive and productive.
By embracing these six strategies for achieving work-life balance, managers can forge a stronger relationship with their team, build and retain more A-players and reach and surpass both short- and long-range goals.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
What To Do When You Realise You Hate Your Job
Do you give in or get started on something new?
In this episode of Leaders Create Leaders, Entrepreneur Network partner Gerard Adams sits down with entrepreneur and influencer Dr. Mona Vand of Hot & Healthy. Vand trained to become a pharmacist, and throughout her education she was driven by that goal.
However, on her first day of work as a pharmacist, she suddenly realised that this path wasn’t for her. She cried when she got home, realising that she had tied herself to this career through her education, and that she might have to continue this for the foreseeable future.
That realisation helped spur her to branch off and build a business that fit her better. Click play to learn how she did it.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
7 Reasons Why Keeping The Job You Have Might Be Your Smartest Career Move
Leaving your comfort zone is not automatically a brilliant idea.
With U.S. unemployment coming in at a healthy low of 4.10 percent last quarter, and better-than-average employment figures across the globe, job seekers have new choices. “Get a new job!” may be at the top of many resolution lists, but before you push “send” on that employment application, you might want to take a few things into consideration:
1. Finding a new job is not as simple as it appears
The number of people looking to ditch their current jobs and find other employment was estimated by some to be as high as 50 percent in 2017 (although our DecisionWise employee survey results show that figure to be less than 20 percent). Whether it’s 20 percent or 50 percent of the world’s population on the job prowl, competition may be steeper than one might think.
Now, further complicate this with the notion that millennials will make up 50 percent of the workforce in 2020. In the competition for the perfect job, there is a high degree of likelihood that your job-hunting competitor may be very similar to you when it comes to skills, experience or education. And, while you’re actively searching for that ideal job, you may not be giving your current role the attention it (and your employer) deserves.
2. You will be starting over
While the possibilities of that new job and compensation package may be enticing, that move may be financially taxing. Many companies have benefits policies that do not kick in for a period of time.
The paid time off and vacation time you’ve previously earned won’t transfer across companies. In many areas, you will be starting over.
3. Job switching is stressful
Workplace adjustments like changes to a different line of work, changes in work hours or location or new work responsibilities can significantly impact personal health. The Holmes and Rahe stress scale ranks a change in employment as one of the most significant when it comes to life’s stressors. When the average workweek for many of us is 45-55 hours, some of us spend as many as half our waking hours at the office. That’s a significant chunk of one’s life to disrupt.
4. You’ll be the newbie
Remember those new employees that you were asked to train – all of those questions and mistakes? Well, now that’s you! For the first three months of employment, you’re more of a liability than an asset, regardless of how valuable you think you are. Mastery takes time. Yet, mastery has repeatedly been shown as one of the key factors in job engagement. Institutional knowledge that comes through tenure is highly valued by most organisations.
Are you ready to spend a good part of 2018 as an apprentice again, acting as the learner rather than the expert? Many employees tie a sense of self-identity and worth to the expertise, title and necessity of their job. That change may have more of a psychological impact than you realise.
5. Relationships take time
A new job means a new team, new customers and a new boss or subordinates. Connection to others around you continues to show up as a primary factor in employee engagement, not to mention the ability to get things done. All that effort to build relationships in your current job won’t be transferred to your new role.
Additionally, trust typically must be earned over time, and that absence of trust may impede your short-term effectiveness. Relationships and trust take time to build. Remember, you will likely be starting over.
6. Growth often involves pain
When professional growth opportunities are absent in an organisation, you get stagnation, boredom and attrition. Those who remain in growth-impaired environments are operating on autopilot. They aren’t mentally present; their minds are not on their work. Errors happen and quality drops. Indifference sets in when work becomes routine. While a no-stress job seems ideal to some, challenges and growth are key components of employee engagement.
Growth most often occurs when we are stretched beyond our comfort zone. Yet, when some people run up against challenges, they take the easy way out by looking outside the organisation. Consequently, they never grow because the grass is always greener elsewhere. Which brings up the next point.
7. Maybe the problem is you
In 2017, employee engagement firm DecisionWise analysed more than 24 million employee survey responses gathered over three years. When it came to disengagement, the findings weren’t completely surprising: fully disengaged employees rarely turned the engagement corner. According to the study, if I’m disengaged in my current job, I’m likely to disengage in my future job.
Why are you thinking of making the switch? Is it the working conditions? Compensation? Bad boss? These are valid reasons. However, often it’s not just this job; it has become a pattern. What’s the common denominator here? Are most team members always doing less work than you do? Are all companies made up of tyrants? Will the people at your new job really value you more than those at your current job? Or, maybe… just possibly…is the problem, you? Look in the mirror. As they say, “wherever you go, there you are.”
Before you rush out to fulfill that job-change resolution in 2018, consider the above. Maybe that switch isn’t what you want after all.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
Business Travel Is Alive And Paying Off
The rise of conference calls and video conferencing systems like Skype and Google Hangouts may seem like the end of face-to-face business encounters, but experts don’t agree.
A number of business leaders and industrial psychologists reckon that there’s no substitute for meeting someone in person, especially at critical junctures in a business relationship, like introducing yourself or closing a deal.
So how do you make business travel easier and worth your while? Dawn Weir, Head of kulula work, suggests the following:
Maximise the business benefits
Business travel can benefit the individual traveller and their business, whether it’s a small enterprise or a multinational conglomerate. kulula work for example, guarantees you the best fares of the day on kulula.com and British Airways (operated by Comair), and you won’t pay booking or flight change fees — only the difference in fare and the airport taxes. You can now also earn and redeem Avios loyalty points whilst flying with kulula.com. Not only will earning more Avios graduate you to higher tiers where you can, for example, get cabin upgrades and access to business lounges, but you can also use the points to, say, take your family on a business and leisure holiday
Get rid of unnecessary paperwork that can weigh you down and store your boarding pass on your smartphone wallet app when you check in 24 hours ahead of departure.
Take a breather
Airport lounges provide a haven from the hubbub of departure lounges, but not all are equal by any means. The best ones have space for some work, fast WiFi, a good selection of food, a decent wine list, and facilities to shower and freshen up. The Slow Lounges at a number of South African airports have these facilities. There’s even one at the Radisson Blu Hotel opposite the Sandton Gautrain station, SLOW in the City that provides boardrooms, lounges, and can arrange for quiet areas to do media interviews. A new lounge called SLOW XS, has also opened at Lanseria International Airport and has, among its many attractions, wine tastings offered by local drinks specialists Winesense.
Add some colour
Many business travellers will go to great lengths to ensure they only travel with cabin luggage, but if you do have to check luggage into the hold, take a moment to familiarise yourself with bag-drop arrangements and any restrictions on the size of cabin luggage. Also, many travellers find it helpful to mark their luggage with a brightly-coloured tag of some sort that makes it readily recognisable on the conveyor.
Stash it all
So, you have your boarding pass on your smartphone and you’ve stashed keys, wallet and change in your carry-on baggage, to save you time passing through the metal-detectors at the security checkpoint. If you’re travelling internationally, you may have opted to wear slip-on shoes and to pack your belt in your carry-on luggage to avoid having to take them off and put them back on again at security. We’ve all stood behind fellow travellers who arrive at the checkpoint with coins and keys in every pocket, and electronic devices in the bottom of a suitcase. There’s not much you can do about that, but you can make your own passage through the metal-detectors easier.
Related: Kulula: Erik Venter and Gidon Novick
Remember to rest
Many business travellers tend to put in more working hours when away from the office and home. Rather than thinking that every mail in your inbox must be answered immediately, get some work-life balance by taking a walk or a run, or just a nap.
To make sure you are on time — every time — comfortable, refreshed, organised and stress-free when you seal your next deal, use kulula work to take care of your travel arrangements. Our team includes professionals dedicated to your account who will assess your business travel needs so that you have a healthy combination of work and play, on your road to success.
The following is exclusively available when your next business trip is booked via kulula work:
- Best fares of the day on kulula.com and British Airways (operated by Comair)
- Flexible flight changes (only the difference in fare and taxes will apply)
- No booking fees
- Competitive car hire rates with Europcar and Avis
- Great hotel rates with Protea Hotels and City Lodge Hotel Group
- Invoicing and reporting
- Account management
- Access to our qualified Corporate Reservations team. *
* Legal stuff applies
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