4 Work Life Balance Tips for People Managers

November 13, 2010

Managers have a range of responsibilities and in most cases it includes people management.

Managers play one of the most critical roles in an employee’s experience at work.

To help foster productive employees who will assist you to achieve goals whilst also supporting work life balance, we offer the following tips.

1. Know your organisation’s work life balance arrangements

Although your human resources area may handle the administration of your work life balance arrangement, as you have staff reporting to you, you may be asked questions around options, eligibility and application.

As a Manager it is worthwhile to equip yourself with knowledge of these arrangements so that you present a consistent message within the organisation and respond to general enquiries.

2. Know your employee’s employment arrangements

Your staff may be engaged by the organisation in a variety of different working arrangements.

This could include such variances as working hours, working times, work locations etc. If not known already, Manager’s should confirm this information of existing staff.

As a new Manager or as you acquire new team members it is beneficial to gain an understanding of their employment arrangements. For example, you may have part timers who only work a 30 hour week or a full time who has purchased two weeks additional leave.

By gaining an appreciation for your team’s overall working hours and arrangements will help you to plan to achieve your team’s goals.

3. Plan & communicate

Manager generally have a role in planning for the delivery of work, setting and communicating expectations.

As you should now be aware of the organisations work life balance and individual arrangements, this will assist with the allocation of resources to contribute to the achievement of your team’s goals.

Unfortunately so many Managers plan in isolation to “man” hours, which unless you have an open labour budget can put unnecessary pressure and stress on you and your team. It is also important to engage your staff in planning.

Open communication can help avoid timing clashes with peak work periods and personal schedules. For example, one of your staff members is getting married at the busiest time of the year.

To know this in advance will allow you to plan to ensure you make alternative arrangements to meet deadlines.

4. Be empathetic and approachable

Some of the most successful Managers are empathetic in nature, make themselves available and are approachable.

Leaders who adopt this approach will benefit as you’ll be more in touch with staff.

Should your employee’s be having issues then they will be likely to speak to you hopefully before things get out of hand.

I’m sure you can think of some terrible Managers you’ve worked for and how difficult it was to go to work.

The above suggestions offer support for Managers to deliver on goals whilst within the agreed working arrangements of staff. After all, employees who have work life balance are considered more productive.

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