Work-Life Balance is a Strategic Talent Management Tool
Young people are looking for careers where there are lifestyle balance that is inclusive of work and family. if a Company wants to be positioned to meet its customers' needs and have talent in the right position for future growth, it must develop an inclusive culture with tolerant, accepting and encouraging attitudes around work-life balance.
Millennials think and act differently from previous generations and the older generations will have to adapt some of the ways of thinking and leading. Millenials have high expectations for work and life, and as they enter the workforce, employers must evolve, using tools such as social media and work-life programmes to recruit, manage and motivate and retain these workforce additions.
Work-life balance is not a new idea, nor is it a desire unique to millennials. However it is a foreign concept for baby boomers, whose lives often resolve around work. Most millenials require their work to have meaning and enjoyment. They want to believe in the Companies they work for, and rather than attach significance to a job as a way to define their lives, their jobs are usually just a means to support their lifestyle (Sherri Elliot-Yearly, 2011).
Work-life balance is about successfully joining two distinct sides of ourselves in a harmonious way. It is work and life, not either/or. The definition of balance is highly personal. It is not an end state, but something a person strives for, and that process or best mix can evolve. Promoting work-life balance is a business-critical issue and not simply the right thing to do. When talent leaders look at their organizations' needs for the next five years, strategic plans should contain a list of the necessary skills for each critical role, and recruitment strategy must balance knowledge workers and millennials because profitable growth and sustainable business results depend on attracting and retaining top talent.
Millenials will put in a 60-hour work week to get the job done, but they do not want to do that every week, and they have to feel connected to the organization's mission and values. Work-life policies should allow employees the option to telecommute when feasible, job share, use flexible start and end times. Many millenials fundamentally feel it is important to hurry up and accomplish things, enjoy experiences and relish life, because tomorrow is uncertain.
Talent leaders know that leveraging work-life programmes increases engagement, and engaged employees are more creative, productive, motivated and happy. This leads to longer tenure, which results in lower turnover and increased profits. Talent leaders will have to ask employees, regardless of generation, what they need to be fully engaged (Sherri-Elliot-Yearly, 2011).
Diversity in families and social trends regarding marriage and childbearing, and having nonfamily roles and responsibilities outside of work, have an effect on job and life satisfaction (Fischer et al., 2009). Job satisfaction is defined as an affective reaction toward the job (Cranny, Smith & Stone, 1992). Life satisfaction is the affective evaluation of life in general (Diener et al., 1985).
Researchers during the past couple of decades have significantly increased our understanding of the work/family interface. Employees may also hold other important roles and responsibilities that impact their experiences of work/non work interference and enhancement. Gwenith et al., 2009, reported on three studies, where it was found that personal life interference with work was significantly related to job satisfaction, whereas family to-work conflict had no relationship with job satisfaction. Work interference with personal life and work enhancement of personal life were significantly related to overall job stress.
If organizations offer employees opportunities to increase their level of responsibility growth and development, recognition for achievement, and most of all balance, they will attract top talent, which will improve the bottom line.
- Fisher,G. et al., 2009. Beyond Work and Family: A Measure of Work/Nonwork Interference and Enhancement. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 2009, Vol. 14, No 4, 441 - 456.
- Elliott-Yeary,S.,2011. Work-Life Balance Is Not a Perk. Talent Magazine, September 2011.
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