Kirsty Beatt, Senior HR Adviser at EPM, tells us how to effectively manage and support the work-life balance and why it's so important to make sure that you regularly check-in on your employees' well-being.
Employees are working more hours than ever. It’s never been more important to make sure that you regularly check-in on employee wellbeing and, as such, it’s something that should be discussed at every team meeting. Remind employees that they can’t perform effectively and efficiently if they’re not maintaining their work-life balance. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup.
If someone is working excessive hours, try to find out why. Are emails coming in at all-hours and they feel obliged to respond instantly? Are some of those emails from parents? You could suggest employees put an out-of-office on their emails after 6pm and manage parental expectations. Are they finding online lessons take far longer to plan? Perhaps some training or skill sharing in remote lesson delivery and planning could be useful. Or, could it be that you have a culture where everyone works long hours, so that employees feel guilty about trying to maintain a good work-life balance?
Effective time management
Ask the team how they are managing their time and invite colleagues to share tips. If there are disparities across the team in how many hours they are working, it’s important to establish why. Is there an element of these ‘new ways of working’ which employees are finding particularly time-consuming? There could be an alternative way of achieving the same result that doesn’t take up quite so much time and energy. Also, ensure that individuals are clear on the priorities when they’re pushed for time – separate the non-negotiables from the less important tasks.
It’s also worth reminding your teams that they all need to keep an eye out for colleagues who may be at risk of burn-out. Having explicit discussions about what that might look like also reminds people to reflect on their own wellbeing, so that they can nip it in the bud.
And lastly, encouraging a culture in which it’s okay to admit to not feeling okay is so important. Be approachable so that employees feel comfortable asking for help. By sharing how you are looking after your own wellbeing, you lead by example, so make sure you are taking your own work-life balance seriously and asking for support where you need it too.
Published: February 2021
Content expert: Kirsty Beatt, Editor: Annika Guerge