Striking a Healthy Work Life Balance with Leadership
If you are the type of person who constantly sends out emails to your employees on weekends, you might want to rethink your strategy. It appears that those in organizational leadership roles who model work/life balance get the best results from their employees. That’s the findings from an on-going survey being conducted by Harvard Business Review and Christine Porath, an associate professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. (Click here to take the survey and see how your workplace experience compares to others.)
Result so far show the leaders who modeled a good work/life balance had employees who were:
- 55% more engaged
- 72% higher in health well being
- 77% more satisfied at work
Another important statistic from this study; employees were 1.5 times more likely to stay at the company.
Balancing work and leadership seems difficult, but it is achievable. With some careful choices and clear priorities, even those in management and leadership positions can find time to handle work priorities and still make it home for dinner with the family.
The recent recession increased pressure on existing employees to spend more hours at work to fill in the gaps left by those who were laid off. This threw many employees into a work-leisure imbalance. Furthermore, it’s reported that working hours still have not returned to pre-recession levels in many circumstances.
Some of the keys to achieving work-life balance include defining what success means to you; managing technology; building support networks at work and at home; and delegating and collaborating. Here is a breakdown of these strategies and more:
Keep track of work-related and personal activities. A Forbes article, “30 Time Management Tips For Work-Life Balance,” outlines effective ways to manage time, including examining procrastination, limiting energy drains and ignoring email when possible.
Determine Your Priorities
Reflect on what is most important to you at work and at home. If you could focus on one thing, what would it be? Carefully select work travel, assignments and other things that might take time away from important people and matters at home.
Set aside time the night before or beginning of each day to plan tasks and activities ahead. Follow your schedule seriously because it is a way to turn your priorities and goals into reality.
Set realistic boundaries on what you will and will not do both at work and at home. Clearly communicate these limits to your managers, coworkers, partner and family. For example, you might commit to not working late on certain days or log-off from work at specific times.
Make Personal Relationships a Priority
Nurture your relationships with family and friends. There are not many people who look back on their life and say “I should have worked more,” but probably many who wished they enjoyed more time with loved ones.
Have “Me” Time
Responsibilities at work and home will always be important, but you also have to take care of yourself. Maintain your health and regularly indulge in some simple pleasures. Set aside times and days for rest and relaxation.
The very first course students take in the Masters in Organizational Leadership includes creating a personal mission statement and individual leadership development plan, which helps students learn how to deal with many of the points listed above.