I couldn’t stand it anymore, I had to write to the editor of the Globe and Mail. The feature over the past days on Work Life Balance was fascinating. Here is my response to the writers and commentaries of this series.
I have been reading and following the discussion on Stress and Work Life Balance in today’s business context. I find the commentary fascinating. Especially the comment by one CEO’s that “Work Life Balance is not a corporate issue but a personal issue”. As someone who works in the field of employee engagement, commitment and loyalty I see firsthand the impact of a scale dipped in favor of the employer.
When employees are given 14 hours of work and expected to complete it in 8 hours we have an immediate imbalance. Time after time I see unrealistic expectations being made of employees. Now you might think I am under 25 years of age, talking like this, but trust me I am well beyond those years.
My work and research in the field of employee engagement and high performing teams has shown me that executives lead the way in the workload imbalance. CEO’s and VP’s sending emails at 11pm on a Saturday night to their executive team who respond and forward down the chain. The next thing you know everyone is working crazy hours and remaining connected 24/7. We need to adjust our expectations.
There are simple ways to address this problem and one is through a real assessment of workload and expectations. The other is through developing leadership programs that focus on the new worker and their unique style of interacting and working. If we reach them the way they want to be reached BINGO you have engagement, commitment and loyalty. More importantly you have high productivity and low stress. The scale begins to balance. Trust me we don’t need fancy incentives like paid dry cleaning and fancy lunches delivered to each person. We simply need leadership that speaks to the new constituent. Balance will happen organically when we provide the right environment.