The top three New Year’s resolutions for people: 1. Strike a better balance between work and home life. 2. Exercise more. 3. Avoid bad relationships. Your organization can’t help workers avoid disastrous dates, but it can help with the first two items.
First, you need to understand what employees mean by “balance,” says Kathie Lingle, director of the Alliance for Work-Life Progress. Her advice:
- Identify current benefits that can help employees keep their work/life balance, and then remind the staff about them. If workers have access to flex schedules, dependent care, paid or unpaid time off and wellness programs, “one of them is going to scratch their itch,” says Lingle.
- Ask employees what they need. A full-blown survey is the best way to gather complete information, but it takes too long, says Lingle. Convene a few focus groups that include employees of various ages and professional ranks. “What you’ve got and what they want may not be the same thing,” Lingle says.
- Look at what other organizations offer. Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” report offers a peek at some of the best creative perks.
- Add a benefit that fits into each of the seven categories of work/life (see box below). “Those are the bases you need to touch,” says Lingle, “and every company gives people at least some of those things.”
- Link your work/life efforts to health and wellness. A place to start: Dedicate a room for exercise, or negotiate discounts with local gyms.