Meaningful Work/Life Integration is Linked to Employee Engagement & Performance
Work/Life balance is a common term, but its impact is not well understood, and it may even be considered optional or unnecessary by some. However, the effective integration of Work and Life empowers employee engagement and commitment. With the alternate being true as well, a lack of Work/Life Integration can result in lower engagement and decreased performance. Organizations that are intentional about recognizing the need for flexible approaches to Work/Life Integration and provide tangible solutions for employees, will be better positioned to create an engaged workforce committed to strong performance and business results.
- People who feel they have good work-life balance work 21% harder than those who don’t, according to a survey from the Corporate Executive Board, which represents 80% of Fortune 500 companies.
- Contrast that with the negative effect work-life conflict has on employee performance—reduced work effort and performance and increased absenteeism and turnover (Anderson, Coffey, Byerly, 2002), reduced health and energy (Frone, Rusee, Barnes, 1996), and increased stress and burnout (Anderson et al, 2002).
- People who feel they have some flexibility in how they do their tasks and take care of their home and life responsibilities respond in a proactive way that mirrors the engagement outcome every organization wants.
- When treated favorably by the organization, employees will feel obliged to respond in kind, through positive attitudes or behaviors toward the source of the treatment,” explain T. Alexandra Beauregard and Leslie Henry in a meta study on the link between work-life balance and organization performance. “Using the provision of work-life balance practices as an indicator of favorable treatment, employees will reciprocate in ways beneficial to the organization – increased commitment, satisfaction with one’s job, and citizenship behaviors.”
- Although 51% of working Americans say their employer offers flexibility for when they work, less than half report having flexible options in terms of the number of hours they work (43 percent), how many days per week they work (40 percent) and the location where they work (34 percent). Even fewer U.S. workers tap into work-life benefits, with just a quarter or fewer using work-life benefits once a month or more.
- Barbara Fredrickson from the University of North Carolina has found that “positive emotions broaden minds, build interest, and energize, while negative emotions restrict thinking, and discourage receptivity to new things and initiative”. Linking this to employee engagement, when employees have a more positive outlook they are more satisfied with their work and are more productive.
- Super Study’s FlexJobs fourth annual survey, with responses from more than 2,600 employees, provides key takeaways for employers who want to connect workplace flexibility with engagement: It positively impact employee loyalty, improves employees’ quality of life, and increases productivity.