A 5-Step Response to Employee Concerns About Work-Life Balance

Experienced leaders are coming to grips with a younger workforce that wants more out of life than working long stressful hours.

Stressed employees want to minimize pressure. Leaders feel pressure to do more with less. Only 2 out of 10 employees are willing to go above and beyond their job expectations.*

72% say work-life balance is a consideration when looking for a job.**

Work-life balance: Taking care of people is an investment. Image of a burned out match.

A five-step response to employee concerns about work-life balance:

#1. Take them seriously.

When someone says they want work-life balance, don’t assume it’s a bad thing. Set aside your assumptions and explore expectations.

Burned-out employees deliver poor results.

#2. Avoid rushing to solve a concern you don’t understand.

Explore purpose:

  1. What makes work-life balance important to you?
  2. What benefits would come your way if you had work-life balance?
  3. What would day-to-day life look like if you had work-life balance?
Work-life balance: Burned out employees deliver poor results. Image of a burning match.

#3. Define the win:

If you had work-life balance, what would life look like? Get specific.

What would be different on a day-to-day basis if you had work-life balance?

#4. Create a time journal.

Now that you have clarity about purpose and expectations, track their use of time for a week. Create a spreadsheet with ½ hour blocks that covers 24 hours a day for 7 days. Include home time because work-life balance is about work and home.

“It’s easy to log your time. Stop every 3 or 4 hours and complete your time journal.”

#5. Reconvene in a week:

Explore the results of their time journal. Ask them,

  1. What did you learn?
  2. After tracking your time, how do you define work-life balance?
  3. What needs to change?
  4. How can I help?

Assumption: This post assumes you want what’s best for employees and customers.

How might leaders respond to concerns about work-life balance?

Still curious:

15 Questions that Change the Way People Think

*Gartner Says the Number of U.S. Employees Going Above and Beyond at Work at All-Time Low

**10 Statistics on Work-Life Balance That May Surprise You