The Two Legs of Work Life Strategy

Most of the organizations adopt a systems approach towards maintaining work-life balance. The systems approach primarily lay too much of stress on procedures, policies of the organization and benefits for addressing the issues related with work and life balance. But the system’s approach has its own limitations, as it ignores several important criticalities since work-life balance is more of an individual concern instead of systems perspective. The primary objective of systems approach is what best the organization can do to improve the work-life balance of the employees. On the other hand, the “individual” centric approach focuses on what best the individual employees can do to achieve a balance between the work and life front for having an improved quality of life.

If we place an organization in the work-life strategy ladder, we would be able to find out that the main goal of any organization will be to climb up the ladder and probably be in the topmost rung of the ladder.

For being in the topmost position, the organizations strategically take care of the recruitment functions; achieve continuous improvement in services and superior productivity by way of employee retention, motivation and commitment for delivering the best possible outcomes at work.

  1. The Systems Approach or The Left Leg of Work and Life Strategy

    The Systems approach is the left leg of the work life strategy, where the focus is on the organizational initiatives for retaining and developing a team of motivated talent pool. The support could be in the form of health insurance, flexi-work programmes, vacation benefits and periodic breaks from the work, sponsoring employees for the higher education or specialized certification programmes and a lot more other benefits for promoting a healthy balance between their work and life priorities.

    What should be kept in mind is while implementing these benefits or conceptualizing the key highlights of a work-life programme, the programme objective must be consistent with the ultimate business objectives. The efforts of the company in this direction will be reinforced by following the strategies which are provided below:

    • The benefits of a well-planned work life programme can be reinforced by way of effective communication and publicity of the programme as an all encompassing package. The key highlights of the work-life balance programmes can be posted attractively on the website of the company as a package.
    • Allowing the employees to work for Half-day over the weekends if they have already devoted their hours of work incrementally earlier in the week and more so they don’t have any scheduled commitments.
    • Offering subsidies to the employees on off-site exercising.
    • Creating athletic teams and supporting them in their endeavours.
    • Allowing 1 to 2 days off on a paid basis for community interaction and socialization.
    • Conceptualizing and introducing “Bring Your Family to work” day either annually or quarterly.
    • Implementing a vacation policy or “No Work Period”, no use of cell phones or system.
    • Enforcing a slightly flexible “on and off the ramp” policy by way of which the employees who take a break or leave work because of personal reasons may find it easy to join the organization back without too much of hurdles.

    By following the above procedures or suggestive initiatives, an organization can strengthen its left leg, though just one side of the leg alone may not be of any help in serving the purpose, as it will be very difficult to stand just by balancing on one leg only. Let’s understand the importance of Right Leg of the Work Life strategy or the individual approach.

  2. Right Leg of the Work-Life Strategy or the Individualistic Approach

    The right leg of the work-life strategy acknowledges the importance of individual differences and also that each individual has a different priority and their independent ways of addressing their day to day personal and professional commitments for achieving a work-life harmony.

    Apart from this, it may be appropriate to say that the work-life interpretations or preferences change for an individual over a period of time.

    For a fresher, the work-life priorities will be different if we compare with someone who may be on the verge of retirement.

    The priorities for each of us at an individual level keep changing almost on a daily basis; hence one should try to create a personalized work and life schedule in order to maintain this balance.

Futuristic Road Map

Extensive research has shown evidences that a dual-centric approach has benefitted the organizations in achieving the desired profitability growth and enabled the individuals in delivering the best of the outcomes at work by balancing their work and life fronts more positively and holistically.

Research has also proven that the relationship management skills which are required at the individual level for interacting with family and friends are equally required by the employees who need to work in a team environment.

Moreover, time management, project management and on-the-job working skills can equally be used for meeting the family, friends and personal commitments at the individual level.

Thus, it can be concluded that the left and right legs of the work life strategies should complement each other and work alongside for ensuring the achievement of both individual and organizational goals. One will work towards improving the organizational effectiveness and will help in propelling business profitability. While, the other will improve the quality of life at an individual level and promote a better work-life balance.

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Workplace Efficiency