Work-life balance is always top of mind for employees and candidates – we hear questions about it in interviews, or employees will discuss ways of achieving it in break rooms and during lunches across companies.
Indeed recently rated the top 25 companies for work-life balance in the Fortune 500, curated from Indeed’s millions of company reviews. We found a diverse list of organizations are offering the best work-life balance for their employees, which shows that industry doesn’t dictate the ability for a job to provide balance.
Southwest Airlines, well known for disrupting the airline industry, comes out on top for providing work-life balance. We heard things like “Management gives constant feedback and is always thinking of its employee’s work/life balance” and that it “feels like a family.”
The companies on this list are showing their employees that they care about their personal lives. This matters so much because retention is becoming more and more important in today’s tight labor market. Technology has blurred the lines between work and personal time – enabling us to work anywhere at anytime. The downside is that employees feel pressure to be available, which can cause unhappiness and burnout – and could ultimately lead to an employee moving on.
You don’t have to be a Fortune 500 company to provide employees with a work-life balance, but they can inspire you to implement practices that will, in turn, help with happier employees.
- Practice What you Preach
Leaders need to be the examples to their employees about boundaries within the workplace. Time off is an excellent example of this – make sure your employees know that their time off is sacred, and their earned time off should be enjoyed. Don’t email them while they are on vacation, and in turn, don’t be the boss that checks in and responds to email while you are away. That sets up an expectation that your team should do the same.
- Create an Environment of Ease
Tech companies are well known for their many onsite amenities – things like gyms, dry cleaning, and on-site cafeterias are designed to make employees lives easier. While it is not reasonable for every company to offer those types of perks, there are other ways to show that you care about work-life balance. Reward an exceptional performance with a paid day off or offer a catered breakfast or lunch once a month. These gestures go a long way in showing that you care and that you understand the demands of work and personal lives.
- Be Flexible
The reality is that many necessary tasks like doctor’s visits or parent/teacher conferences only happen during normal business hours. Consider giving employees the opportunity to work from home on occasion or allow them to come in early or late if they need to attend to a personal matter. Allowing some flexibility on occasion can provide a tremendous amount of relief in an employee’s day.
The question of achieving work-life balance differs for each individual employee and company. Open the dialogue with your employees about what would make their work lives easier. The cost to the company will often be outweighed by the retention and loyalty of your employees.