There are a lot of buzz terms popping up when talking about the talent market. A phrase that I’ve heard for many years and now with increasing frequency is Work-Life Balance. A segment of our candidates state it as a priority when considering a new job. I decided to delve a bit deeper into what is meant by this.
ChatGPT tells me that work-life balance refers to:
- The equilibrium between a person’s professional responsibilities and their personal life activities.
- Achieving work-life balance is finding the right blend of career aspirations and personal well-being.
In a recent LinkedIn poll, 36% of respondents said they wanted to manage their own schedule and 49% said they wanted flexibility to work less than 40 hours + manage their schedule + go to their loved ones’ events. A desire for flexibility to have some control over one’s own schedule seems important.
A little personal history on what work-life balance has meant for me. I shifted my career into sales many years ago with the recognition that it was a career where I could manage my own time and also drive my earnings based on what I put into it. This proved to be true in both regards. Not only was I able to raise three wonderful kids and be visible during the important pre- and teenage years, I also had a highly successful sales career, earning President’s and Chairman’s Club regularly. This wasn’t accomplished by working eight-hour days. For me, it was accomplished by being available to both my kids and customers, to the best of my ability, and fitting in other sales activities around my priorities.
My next career shift came when I decided to combine my love and success in sales with my education and prior work experience in organizational development. In fact, it was 17 years ago this month when I launched my own business focused on helping customers to build successful sales teams. It’s afforded me the opportunity to travel with family and friends and to attend important events near and far. It fits my travel style of remaining available to client needs while on the road and working between activities. It also helps to have a clear schedule for a couple of days post-travel to fully catch up!
Candidates are more direct in talking about work-life balance in recent years. Even when they don’t voice the need, their perception of their ability to achieve it when considering a new job and company are often top of mind. When you’re hiring, include questions that help you to better understand what the candidate is looking for in this regard. It will help you to understand if you’ll be able to meet the individual’s needs for the long-term and if they are a good fit with the requirements of the job and company culture.
When talking about ways to give employees more flexibility with hiring managers, I sometimes hear, “I tried that, it didn’t work out.” This oftentimes means I got burned by an employee or two and am concerned it will be repeated. There’s no guarantee that it won’t happen. Establishing a well-founded interview and hiring process, coupled with a focus on understanding and meeting your employees’ goals and needs, will increase the likelihood that you will have engaged employees who stay longer.
After all, having a healthy work-life balance contributes to an individual’s well-being, reduces stress and increases productivity. Who doesn’t want a little less stress at the workplace, along with increased productivity. Look at your workplace and make sure it’s a place your employees want to be. Have some fun, all the good things don’t have to happen during off work hours!
If you’re ready to define your hiring process. Or want to partner with an expert for your hiring needs, let’s start a conversation.
“Always take some of the play, fun, freedom and wonder of the weekend into your week and your work.”
Rasheed Ogunlaru, Coach, Speaker, Author