Employee Engagement and Work-Life Policies

Posted on March 26, 2013 by TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)

As we continue to move forward toward a business world that requires longer hours and increased work load, the need for work-life balance becomes increasingly important. Employees want to be able to balance both work and family life in the easiest way possible. Organizations have begun to create policies that allow for employees to establish more flexible schedules. What are these policies and do they work?

Flexibility is something nearly all employees long for. Sure, the “9 to 5” schedule works for many, but for those with children or those employees who are also caregivers, the “typical” schedule is not always the most convenient. Allowing employees to have flexible schedules has been shown to increase employee satisfaction, retention, and positive affect (Richman et al., 2008).

The belief is that when organizations have flexible work schedules available for employees, the employees will feel committed to their organization. Think about it; would you like your organization better if they provided flexible schedules or if they had a rigid and hard schedule policy? Naturally, I think most of us would be happier with an organization that demonstrated an interest in our work-life balance.

When are employees most likely to feel strong amounts of employee engagement? The researchers believe there are employee engagement can be present when there is one of the following met:

Good Employee-Fit: This occurs when an employee feels that they are a good match for the organization and when the employee’s goals are in line with the goals of the organization.

Employee Expectations are Met: When an employee feels that they are challenged and that their job expectations are met with their organization, engagement levels tend to be higher than when employees do not feel fulfillment from their work.

Perceived Organizational Justice: Employees want to feel that there is even playing ground with all employees. When they believe that there is equality within the organization, more trust is put in the organization.

Perceived Organizational Support: Employees need to know that their organizations support them no matter what the circumstances are.

What are your thoughts on employee engagement and work-life policies? Do most organizations do enough?

Reference: Richman, A., Civian, J., Shannon, L., Hill, J., & Brennan, R. (2008). The relationship of perceived flexibility, supportive work-life policies, and use of formal flexible arrangements and occasional flexibility to employee engagement and expected retention. Community, Work, & Family, 11, 183-197.

TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)

About TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)

Great companies know that it takes highly engaged employees to retain customers and make their brand promise come alive. To make the connection between your employees, customers and brand, you need a partner with deep expertise across several areas. Only KANTAR TNS has over two decades of employee survey experience, as well as access to the consultative and research resources of the world’s largest customer satisfaction benchmark database and brand analytics research. Whether you have 200 employees or 200,000, Kantar TNS has the expertise and the advanced measurement, reporting, and follow up tools you need to deliver on your employee and customer brand promise.

What Others Are Saying

  1. Glen Andersen March 28, 2013 at 7:09 am

    Hi Gail:
    An interesting post on employee engagement and work-life balance. I think that your points are spot on and that the criteria outlined are what we should be striving for. The key is to find a simple and easy to implement strategy that meets all of the criteria. I am proposing one such strategy in my new ebook “The Optimum Manager”. You can presently obtain a free copy at my website.

    I think that the issue of employee engagement and work-life balance has two apparently competing aspects: desired level of compensation; and, desired amount of time off. The desire for higher compensation typically means less time off. The optimal level of compensation and amount of time off can vary widely between employees and over the career of any given employee. Ideally, we should adopt a strategy that gives employees complete control over both and that allows them to vary the mix as their personal needs and desires change over time.

    In my opinion, in order to accommodate such flexibility we need to move away from employee performance measurement systems based upon the quality and quantity of time spent on the job. I am proposing a tasks-based system and have found tremendous positive results in my own small engineering consulting firm.

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