How Successful is your Work Life Balance Program?

January 19, 2011

Employers who implement a work life balance program may be unclear whether they are successful or not.

Success can be measured in a variety of ways and it is important to determine your success measures early on, preferably pre-implementation, so that you are aware of what you are trying to achieve and monitor how you are going throughout the program.

Some example goals that can be set to determine the success of your work life balance program may include the number of sessions run, participation rates, satisfaction scores and more in depth return on investment.

Advantages and Disadvantages

There are of course advantages and disadvantages of all approaches.

Advantages

With the easier measures include less time/resources to collate information and ease of availability of information.

For the more complicated measures, e.g. return on investment, this will provide employers with a comprehensive understanding of how the initiative is actually benefiting the organisation and whether it is money well spent.

Disadvantages

  • quality of information for the easier tracking
  • time/resources for more sophisticated measures.

Let’s go through an example and how collecting more evidence can help employers to assess whether the program is successful or not.

An organisation plans to runs four health related awareness sessions throughout the year on topics relevant to the workforce’s health needs.  Firstly, an organisation may look at how many sessions are actually run throughout the period of time (e.g. did all four sessions eventuate?).

It makes sense to further expand to determine the participation rates, how many people have actually attended each individual session, how many attendees across the entire program and how many people have attended more than one session.  It is then worthwhile to determine whether participants are satisfied with the information that has been provided.

Although you may have people attending sessions, if they have not benefiting, is there any point in running them?  It is therefore worthwhile surveying them to help make this assessment.

This can happen before, to gain an understanding of their expectations, then immediately after and then you can follow up a period of time later to determine if the session had a longer lasting impact.  Surveying participants may be time consuming however can provide valuable information on whether the program is meeting their needs.

Finally, return on investment may look further into the introduction of the sessions and whether there has been direct benefit for the organisation, for example if employee absenteeism has decreased as a result of this program.

This can be harder to determine, however very worthwhile to justify program investments that equate to direct benefits and reduced costs for an organisation.

Although this summary only highlights some measuring ideas to assess the success of your work life balance program.  We hope you get a sense of the importance of measuring to help you to provide worthwhile program for your workforce but ones that also benefit your organisation as well.

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