This article belongs to the series How to start a conversation about… aimed to help leaders overcome the sometimes uncomfortable beginning of a discussion around areas that affect their teams happiness and performance.
Would you like to improve your team’s perception of their work/life balance but don’t know where to start? Discussing work/life balance with your team can feel like an uncomfortable and daunting task. To make matters worse, many leaders think work/life balance is the same as less time at work and therefore has to come at a cost to productivity and performance. However, work/life balance does not have to be about how much time people spend at work, rather it's the individual’s perception about how they can balance things they have to do and things they want to do. It is important to acknowledge that work/life balance for one team member might be different to another depending on what they want from life at the moment. Hence, for you as a manager taking an individualistic approach to creating work/life balance in your team is essential.
We recommend that you ask your team the following questions:
- What does work/life balance mean to you?
- What are some signs that your life is in balance?
- What are some signs that your life is out of balance?
- What are your personal and professional goals in the future?
- What are the things you enjoy the least at work that feels like a waste of time?
- Is there anything we can do together to minimize these?
As you might note these are quite personal questions and are probably best to take up with your team on your one-to-ones to make them more comfortable to share. The power of these questions is that not only do you get to know your team better, just having this conversation will make them feel more valued. If you want to improve the work/life balance of your team, involving them in the solution is the best way forward.
Hope you enjoyed these tips on how to start a conversation about work/life balance for more articles in the series on how to start a conversation about… check out HappyTeams.io