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Blog : Work life balance - how do you rate?

Blog

Work life balance - how do you rate?


Today, work life balance (WLB) is an increasingly significant management issue yet despite the fact that many companies are ideally placed to offer WLB, few employers (large or small) currently have working policies in place. Research shows that 96% of flexible workers outperform their more traditional work colleagues and work life balance is important to many people, not just 'working mums'. Creating a positive, practical WLB policy is a sound business decision, not a soft option, as it can help you to attract and retain talent and can increase the motivation levels and therefore the productivity of your workforce. You may be well on the way to demonstrating good practice or maybe you are 'out in the cold' - take this quiz to see how well how you shape up.

1. One of your supervisors comes to you and asks for time off to see his son's nativity play. Do you:
a. Reluctantly allow the time ( score 2)
b. Tell him there's no way, it's December for heaven's sake! (score 1)
c. Agree, ensuring his duties are covered and ask afterwards how it went (score 3)

2. One of your chefs has been late a lot lately though she used to be a good timekeeper. Do you:
a. Tell her to pull her socks up and monitor the situation closely (score 2)
b. Find out why and if there's a good reason, be open to adjusting start times to accommodate her new circumstances (score 3)
c. Sack her (score 1)

3. Two of your general assistants sign up to a college course (non work related) and ask whether they can go part-time on a job share basis. Your attitude towards this idea is:
a. You've never considered it but might be prepared to do so (score 2)
b. More trouble than it's worth (score 1)
c. You'd welcome it if it enabled you to retain two good workers for the next 2 years (score 3)

4. Your reception team put a proposal forward to rearrange and manage their shifts themselves. Do you:
a. Tell them you'll consider it in the future (score 2)
b. Check their ideas have been well thought through and then allow them to give it a try (score 3)
c. Tell them there's no way, it took you ages to do those rotas (score 1)

5. You discuss work life balance with your fellow managers and the outcome of the discussion is that it is:
a. Necessary in this climate to attract and retain good people (score 3)
b. A nice idea but it wouldn't work for you (score 2)
c. Wishy washy stuff thought up by people who should be at home looking after their kids anyway (score 1)

6. If you introduced work life balance practices to your department you would expect:
a. Chaos (score 1)
b. Happier people (score 2)
c. Happier, more motivated & productive people (score 3)

7. A member of your IT team has an accident and is unable to travel to work do you:
a. Investigate home working - it's cheaper to network a home computer than recruit a new IT person (score 3)
b. Help him to find a job near home (score 2)
c. Wish him well and get on with finding a replacement (score 1)

8. One of your most talented managers asks for a 6 month sabbatical to 'find himself' in India. Do you:
a. Explain that you can't just drop everything, if he goes, that's it! (score 1)
b. Be inwardly disappointed at his lack of commitment but tell him it may be possible later on in the year (score 2)
c. Decide mutually convenient dates and let him go with your blessing - better than losing him (score 3)

9. Your accounts team would like longer lunch breaks to go to the local gym together and are prepared to start earlier in the morning to make up the time. Do you:
a. Tell them to go to the gym in the morning instead (score 1)
b. Allow it but keep reminding them what a big favour you're doing them (score 2)
c. If the business can accommodate the request allow it, and take an interest in how well their fitness is improving (score 3)

10. What percentage of men in the UK today would like to improve their WLB?
a. 21% (score 1)
b. 51% (score 2)
c. 81% (score 3)

Now add up your scores, and see how you have done!

24-30 You have welcomed the idea of work life balance (WLB) and have already made a start by the flexible way in which you manage your team. You do come cross those who question your ability to make tough decisions - but stick it out; research shows that the benefits of WLB to an organisation include greater levels of responsibility, loyalty and trust, improved relationships, higher motivation and productivity, increased willingness to be flexible when required. To find out more on how to Manage and Motivate your team, why not book onto our MDP on the 13th August 09.

13-23 You quite like the idea of work life balance (WLB) but worry about whether it would work within your environment. You are also sceptical about whether people would take advantage once they saw you had 'softened' your approach. WLB isn't about being soft, it's a commercial decision to attract talented people and keep them with you. Research shows that the benefits of WLB to an organisation include greater levels of responsibility, loyalty and trust, improved relationships, higher motivation and productivity, increased willingness to be flexible when required. So get with it and look into WLB today or book onto our Manage and Motivate MDP on the 13th August 09

10-12 You view work life balance (WLB) as soft management theory that has no place within your environment. Why should you give in to these people who are less committed to their job than you are? After all, nobody would have allowed you to have all this freedom. You are missing the point that, today, the people with the best potential want to work in flexible environments that will allow them to enjoy both their personal life and their career. Research shows that the benefits of WLB to an organisation include greater levels of responsibility, loyalty and trust, improved relationships, higher motivation and productivity, increased willingness to be flexible when required. So get with it and look into WLB today or book onto our Manage and Motivate MDP on the 13th August 09

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