Aspects and benefits of Work Life Balance

1.0 INTRODUCTION

This following thesis discusses with the work life balance of an organization. As it is to be explained in this essay a work life balance is required in any organization. It is a vital aspect which most of the organizations do not consider and as a result they end up facing critical situations which could have been easily prevented from happening. The reason is that all the employees would get a proper balance between their work and the time that they spend at home and family. This is very important because the satisfaction of an employee must be given high priority. It is only when the employee is satisfied that his performance could reach to its maximum levels. When the production capacity of every employee in the organization increases, this would obviously increase the productivity of the organization. Therefore this would lead to high sales and profits which would help organizations to reach the optimum level possible.

The essay also talks about what is important to manage people within the organization. There are explanations about how stress, empowerment, government regulations and employee of choice could help in the management of employees within the organization. There are also illustrations of how to implement work life balance within the organizations.

So as told above the whole routine on an organization depends on the performance of the employees which most organizations don’t understand. On continuing with this essay everything will be explained in detail and how work life balance affects an organization.

2.0 DISCUSSION

2.1 HRM defined

Human Resource Management (HRM) is the function within an organization that focuses on recruitment, management, and providing direction for the people who work in the organization. Human Resource Management can also be performed by line managers. (Alexander, J. O. 2005)

2.2.1 Work Life Balance

Before look into it deep it is all ways a question on what work life is. It basically represents the meaning of an individual balancing his life from work and family. In such situations it is believed that a person can perform to his/her expected level.

“Work life balance is not a problem to be solved; it is an issue to be managed”. Many people and organizations think of work life balance as a problem whereas it should be not. It is only a problem if one is not able to achieve it which in most cases happens but also it basically tells a person that managing it will always make him/her successful. (Luthans, 2008. P. 250)

In the earlier days work was just done as a requirement and a part of endurance, however now it is a form of personal satisfaction and less as a kind of survival. One of the medium that help these employees reach their personal development and organizational success is work-life balance. Work-life balance used in the right spirit may not only cause benefits to the employees, it may be a source through which the entire organization gains competitive advantage. Work-Life Balance is taking a bigger bite out of corporate profits than any other bottom line issue today. As a result, it provides the biggest and easiest upside opportunity to immediately affect on the business

As employees of firms have been bombarded with overload of work over the decades, as shown in the picture, the concept of work-life will help organizations to hold their best employees. However, it should be remembered that Work-Life balance is not a problem to be solved; it is an issue to be managed as told before. Unfortunately most mangers are woefully untrained to manage this issue for themselves, much less help others to manage it. During the course of this essay recommendations will be provided to overcome this fundamental problem.

2.2.2 Benefits of work life balance for the organization

When organizations are able to create a work environment with work-life balance, there are many benefits to the organization. In such cases it can be pointed out that work life balance carries out some benefits. (Perrow, 2006, p.125)

Retain staff- As told before with a proper well maintained work life balance employees will be satisfied with whatever they are being given with and will be willing to work more. With self and work satisfied employees an organization can easily retain staff. This will reduce the cost of advertising, recruiting and training of new employees

To improve team work and working bonds- Well satisfied employees will always look to work more and perform tasks that they are being assigned to. A work environment with work-life balance will enhance the working relationships between colleagues, improve morale and will encourage employees to show more initiative and teamwork.

To increase level of production- With proper retained staff and team effort a higher production level can be achieved. This will help the organization to cater into mass marketing with mass level of production.

2.2.3 Benefits of work life balance for the employees

Increase in Job Satisfaction- Since the employees do not have to worry about much of their other matter as a result of a well maintained work life balance they will be able to concentrate on their work which will eventually lead to job satisfaction. This will improve the quality of work which will also lead to better quality output.

Decreasing stress and burn out- With proper work life balance being maintained it is obvious that stress is being reduced. As a result of reduction in stress performance of the employees will increase which will eventually benefit the organization.

Collaboration- If work life balance is achieved employees will be much satisfied with the work, this will act a motivational factor. Then the employees will be able to work as a team and develop their skills. Therefore they will be benefited by adopting new skills and new techniques which will not only help them in their career but also their social life.

2.3 Why is it important to manage people

Think of the last time you heard statements like these; “I’m the boss here!”, “Just do the job I gave you!”, “You need to do it my way!” How did you actually feel? Did you feel de-motivated to carry on with your work? Of course you will. Keeping the employees of the organization happy and making sure that they are comfortable with their work surroundings is crucial to the employees’ performance. And it is their performance that ultimately affects the organization as a whole. The words and the employer’s reaction, as well as the reactions of others, reflect generational differences in the workplace. For example, if an employee is not happy with his/her boss, this might de-motivate the employee to perform. This de-motivation may rub off on other fellow employees. And ultimately when most of the employees of the department are de-motivated to work, it would result in the poor performance of the entire department. (Alexander, 2006, p.5-12)

We have four different generations working side-by-side in the workplace. Remember, if you are old enough, when older workers were the bosses and younger workers did what was asked of them, no questions asked. There were definite rules as to how the boss was treated and how younger workers treated older workers. No longer: Roles today are all over the place and the rules are being rewritten daily.

Research indicates that people communicate based on their generational backgrounds. Each generation has distinct attitudes, behaviors, expectations, habits and motivational buttons. Learning how to communicate with the different generations can eliminate many major confrontations and misunderstandings in the workplace and the world of business. (Hammil, 2005)

There are four generations of employees, which are silent’s, baby boomers, generation xers and generation Y’s. The table given below shows the generation timeline.

Source: http://www.fdu.edu/newspubs/magazine/05ws/generations.htm

As of today many of the employees included in the baby boomer generation is retiring or is expecting to retire. Thus the modern day workforce mostly consists of the Generation X & Y. Generation X value education, parenting and independence more than work and they have developed varying skills and are more determined in meeting an employee that best suit their needs. Generation Y are those born between 1980 to the present. They are also called Millennia’s and Echo boomers. Generation Y has been defined as ‘better educated, more tech-savvy, more achievement oriented, and better at problem solving than boomers.’ (Henricks, 2007)

The table given below shows the individuals his or her underlying values, or personal or lifestyle characteristics and how it corresponds with each generation.

Source: http://www.fdu.edu/newspubs/magazine/05ws/generations.htm

2.3.1 Factors that affect the employees in the workplace

Looking at the factors that affect the employees in the workplace:

Stress – Stress occurs when you exceed your ability to cope with pressure. It can be simply described as the harmful physical and emotional response that occurs when there is a poor match between job demands and the capabilities and the resources of the employee. We know that lack of control and autonomy, long hours, lack of job satisfaction and bullying can all cause stress. What cannot still be identified is how resilient an individual may be at coping with pressure. At present one can’t predict the impact that exposure to a stressful environment will have on a person. It depends on genetic make-up. You could suffer mental failure or you could get a heart disease. Therefore overly stressed workers will only result in being a burden to the organization as performance & commitment levels tend to decline, adding to the losses. (John, 2002, p.25).

Empowerment – ”Empowerment is the authority to make decisions within one’s area of responsibility without first having to get approval from some superior” (luthans, 2008, p. 290).

This is about the trust element between the employee and the manager that comes thorough flexible working and is very beneficial to the organization. Freedom to work flexibly is one of the most powerful incentives to attracting and retaining staff. Since we all know that a flexible workforce is also a powerful economic weapon because it helps safeguard against inflation. Indeed, the freedom to work flexibly if so desired is an essential tenet in the new psychological contract between employers and employees. Surveys show it is one of the most powerful incentives for attracting and retaining staff. (Samson & Daft, 2005, p.164)

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Government Regulations -These are simply laws made by the government to provide flexibility for working parents of small children. Again this is crucial to maintain proper work life balance. The governments at present plan to preserve the notion in law regarding this matter. To avoid bitterness, employers will have to offer different incentives to all staff. The movement towards offering a new work-life balance is unstoppable, as it is what everyone wants. However it is a requirement that organizations together with individuals find the perfect balance, with equal commitments to sectors, work & life. (kaufman, 2000, p.254)

Employer of choice – The primary objective of any business is (or should be) to create a high performance workplace. High performance workplaces are characterized by their creativity, innovation, flexibility and competitiveness. Workplaces where people choose to work and give freely of their energies and feel a sense of personal achievement, satisfaction, individual purpose and security, where there is synergy between personal missions and work challenges, and organizational achievement and where the workplace sense of community contributes to overall social cohesion. (Centro, 2009. P. 300)

2.3.2 So what does “Employer of Choice” mean

In simple terms it means that people will choose to work for you and they will:

Choose to dedicate them to your success.

Choose to stay with you, even when they are being courted by recruiters from other

Employers – recruiters with exceptionally attractive inducements.

An employer of choice is one who inspires highly talented workers to join them and stay with them. (Herman & Gloria, 2004, p.158).

2.4 ASPECTS OF WORK LIFE BALANCE

2.4.1 Job sharing

Job sharing if we examine is a form of permanent part-time work, where the full time work is coordinately divided between two or more people, where each individual is given specific responsibilities and areas for the entire workload. It needs to be understood that a change from full-time to a job sharing arrangement doesn’t mean that the continuity of the employment is broken. (Jones, 2005, p.256)

Benefits

It increases co-operation and collaboration between all staffs

Enhance the experience and knowledge of each individual when the job is shared

Enable is better balance paid work persona, family, social and community

If any employee is currently involved in any part time studies, this gives them the flexibility for them to complete their studies in a faster rate.

Potential Disadvantages

Job sharing may also give rise to;

Duplication of work or conflicting decisions due to poor communication between the job sharers

Disruption of work caused by the absence of a person working on a matter which needs to be completed that day

Difficulties renegotiating a job share arrangement if one job sharer leaves

The need for additional communication mechanisms for job sharers and other staff

Salary, superannuation and other entitlements being affected.

Suggestions for overcoming potential problems

Chose a job share partner who has a complimentary working style and one whom you communicate well.

Job sharers and Managers should clarify the details of the job share arrangements together, prior to the commencement of the job share arrangement. Factors to consider include:

How tasks will be divided

How to hand over

How important decisions will be made

How to keep the Manager and other staff members informed about these

What will happen if one job sharer resigns

Staff members are encouraged to outline these details in their flexible work proposal and Managers need to ensure that they are clearly documented in the final agreed arrangement.

Plan well prior to the introduction of the job share arrangement. This is crucial to preventing many of the potential problems that may arise under this type of arrangement.

2.4.2 Part time work

Part-time work for professional staff members entails working less than the standard weekly or fortnightly hours, for which all entitlements are paid on a pro-rata basis. Types of the part-time work arrangements include:

Weekly fraction: working 0.5 on the basis of two and a half working days each week

Fortnightly fraction: three working days one week and two working days the next week within a pay period.

Annual fraction: working 0.5 time for the whole year but working six months full time and six months off.

Converting from full-time work to part-time work for a defined period of time is also negotiable. This enables a phased return to work following extended or prolonged leave (eg. maternity or sick leave) or phased exit before retiring.

Benefits

Part-time employees are better able to manage their working hours to suit their personal, family, social and community responsibilities and interests. For e.g.

Having time to do well in their job

Keeping stress at an acceptable level

Maintaining a good balance between work and other aspects of life

Meeting their family responsibilities.

Employers have greater capacity for attracting and retaining high performing, innovative employees who might otherwise have difficulty in working full-time.

Organizations that demonstrate an appreciation of part-time work and flexibility in assisting staff to manage work-life balance enjoy an enhanced public perception.

Potential Disadvantages

Salary, superannuation and other entitlements may be affected by a reduction in working hours.

There may be a need to cover load/hours when part-time employees are not working, especially for roles previously performed on a full-time basis.

There is potential for overloading other staff members with work to cover load/hours when part-time workers are not working, especially for roles previously performed on a full-time basis.

Suggestions for overcoming potential problems

By planning well prior to the introduction of the flexible work arrangement, managers can ensure that when part-time staff members are not working, the work unit is adequately covered. Effective planning and clear communication amongst the parties concerned shall ensure that staff members are not burdened with an overload of work.

2.4.3 Flexible time

Flexi-time is an arranged agreement between a Manager and staff member in which they mutually agree to vary their staff member’s commencing, ceasing and meal break times while still maintaining the total number of hours worked over a period. Another version of flexi-time is when time off in lieu accrued when a staff member works longer than 7.35 hours per day or 36.75 hours per week. These accrued hours can be used to reduce the work hours during other days within the week/fortnight.

Since 2006, record keeping requirements under the Workplace Relations Act 1996 require staff members, entitled to overtime or penalty rates, to record hours for worked in excess of their ordinary work hours.

Flexi-time arrangements take into account the current and operational needs of the work area. This means that some positions or work areas will not be able to accommodate flexi-time.

Benefits

Flexi-time enables the arrangement of working hours to suit personal or family commitments, particularly staff with dependent children. For example, by commencing work at a later time or finishing work at an earlier time enables many parents to drop their children off to school in the mornings or pick them up in the afternoon.

Accumulating additional hours then having long stretches of time off work allows employees to more effectively pursue broader career/personal/social and community responsibilities and interests.

Employees who are better able to manage their work-life balance more effectively are more likely to have high staff morale, greater employee satisfaction and work commitment resulting in a more enriched working environment and a correspondingly more vibrant, creative and productive workforce.

Potential Disadvantages

Flexi-time arrangements may mean there are inadequate staff levels at some times.

Staffs are required to keep detailed records of flexi-time, which is resource intensive and time-consuming.

Suggestions for overcoming potential problems

Good planning prior to the introduction of the flexi work arrangements is crucial to preventing many of the potential problems that may arise under this type of arrangement.

2.4.4Pre Retirement contracts

A pre-retirement contract is a fixed-term contract entered into by the University and a staff member seeking to retire at a specified future time (usually in between 1-5 years’ time). Professional and academic staff who are eligible for consideration of a pre-retirement contract includes staff who have:

Tenured or continuing employment with the company

Reached 55 years of age and will retire at the expiry of the pre-employment contract.

Benefits

For the staff member

A pre-retirement contract allows a staff member to plan for the future by giving guaranteed employment for the duration of the contract.

Employees receive a 10% loading above normal salary which is bonus.

The contract period provides the work unit time for succession planning.

Conversion to a pre-retirement contract can also be combined with part-time employment, enabling employees to enjoy the benefits of retirement while at the same time undertaking paid work.

For the Company

Pre-retirement contracts provide job opportunities for other employees.

The contract period allows the Company to know when a staff member will retire provides certainty for forward/succession planning.

2.4.5 Work from home

Professional and academic staff members may work from home:

For a specified period of time

For a specific project

Under certain conditions provided the arrangement is both appropriate and practicable.

Approval for a home based work arrangement is therefore considered on a case to case basis, having regard to the nature and requirements of the work, including Occupational Health and Safety requirements.

Work duties that involve a high level of autonomy and independence are more appropriate for home based work arrangements and include:

Project work

Report writing

Policy development and analysis

Computer design and programming

Duties that do not require close supervision or contact with other staff, students and public relations

A degree of computer literacy to facilitate independent work from home

Minimal usage of files and other resources located in the office.

The type of equipment required for undertaking home based work may include:

A computer with disc drives, a USB port or Ethernet connection for transferring work done at home to the office

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Switching work phone through to the home computer or home phone

Having access to University databases and networks on the home computer

The provision of a telephone answering service, fax machine or mobile phone.

Benefits

Working from home can result in:

The ability to concentrate on a primary project

Less time spent travelling to and from work

Reduced child care costs

More time with the children and family.

Potential Difficulties

Working from home may also facilitate:

Practical difficulties in arranging equipment required by the employee to undertake home based work

Potential risks/hazards at home

Distractions resulting in an inability to work as effectively and efficiently as an equivalent staff member on campus

Feelings of isolation

Lack of access to staff development opportunities and workplace information.

Suggestions for overcoming potential problems

Good planning prior to the introduction of the home based work arrangement is crucial to preventing many of the potential problems that may arise under this type of arrangement. The University provides information for Managers, including steps to be followed in negotiating flexible work arrangements and a checklist to assist with this process.

2.4.6 Paternity Leave

Providing services such as paternity leave, child care and elder care will further develop the employee relationship with the Organization. Hence, increasing the balance of work and family. All parents with children under the age of 8; in the case of a child with disabilities the age limit is 16 are entitled to up to 14 weeks Parental Leave

2.4.7 Compassionate or Emergency Leave

Most employers recognize the need for leave in emergency situations. Arrangements vary from organization to organization and are frequently informal.

Many employees prefer the need for leave in emergency situations or unavoidable circumstances however arrangement may vary for company to company. However if the company is practicing work life balance they will be able to provide leave to that individual and sharing the work among the employees.

2.4.8 Term-Time Working

This system means that the employee works during school terms but not during the school holidays. It appeals, in particular, to parents of school going children.

Employment or career break: At certain stages in working life a break may be needed, for example: to devote more time to other things or for personal development reasons. The facilitating of such breaks can assist in retaining valued staff. A growing number of organizations provide such breaks on either a formal or less structured basis.

Sabbaticals: This is a period of absence from work, which may or may not be on full pay, and duration is normally related to length of service. They provide an opportunity for employees to take a break from or reflect on their work, or engage in new activities.

Exam and Study Leave: When an employee is pursuing further education (this may or may not be job-related), an organization may provide paid leave for the purposes of study and to enable the employee to sit exams.  In the case of workers under 18, this may be mandatory as set out in the Education (Welfare) Act (2000).

2.4.9 E-Working

The concept of e-Working involves working at a distance, not face to face using the technology to ease communications. Through the state of the art technology such as video conferring and Skype for e.g., communication has been made simple and just about everywhere and anytime.

It is well suited to performing information technology tasks and works well in certain situations where the employee has a high degree of autonomy, e.g.: Architecture, journalism. Difficulties to be overcome can include issues of control, lack of face to face contact and consistency of service provision.

2.4.10 Virtual Teams

 

Virtual development includes where forming teams of e-workers to work in a mutually supportive way. The team members may not work together or in fact stay in the same country however via the internet the communication is made effectively. This form of teamwork may be suitable in certain situations but the lack of personal interaction and human contact will render it inappropriate in situations where these factors are considered important.

2.5 Benefits of work life balance in work places

Work life balance and practices can bring benefits in direct and in direct form to employees, employers and as a whole to the organization. The benefits that come into the organization due to the practices of such strategy would be tangible and quantifiable than other, where they contribute to the organizations gain in the long run.

When organizations are able to create a work environment with work life balance, there are many benefits to the organization which could be priceless.

2.5.1 Image

An organization that implements such strategy would be a most preferred work place by employees, more over this would create an image for the organization as an entity that emphasizes on their employees satisfaction and well look into the needs of their and satisfy them where as ensuring that organizational goals are been archived. As a whole the organization would have an image in the society as a workers most preferred organization.

2.5.2 Increase in productivity

Many researchers have been proved that the best motivation a human can get is not when he is benefited only in monetary terms, where as the person would get motivated and satisfied when his basic and essentials needs are recognized and satisfied. Thus work life balance provides a ground for such practices for the in a organization. Where flexi work hours are encouraged according to the employees situation, telecommuting, job sharing and maternity leaves etc. therefore the employee would feel that his basic and essential needs are been recognized and been addressed and due to the above mentioned methods they could perform their task from homes or flexi working hours where they could address their personal needs and do along with the organizational demand. This would bring down the stress level of employees by not loading everything in one time and as a whole would increase the productivity of the employees in the long run.

2.5.3 Retention of current employee rates

When such practices are been exercised in an organizations and where employees are been looked after well where by addressing their issues in a more effective way the employee retention level would be on a positive note. This would reduce the burden on the organization looking for new employees, the cost associated with hiring new employees is relatively high in contrast to the real world where the organization has to incur cost such as advertising and recruitment and training which would be a timely process with high levels of cost involved

A work environment with work-life balance will enhance the working relationships between colleagues, improve morale and will encourage employees to show more initiative and teamwork. Therefore, it will increase the levels of production and job satisfaction by decreasing stress and burn-out

2.6 World Class examples of successful organizations which has practiced Work Life Balance

2.6.1 How Google Inc. helps its employees to balance work-life

Google as one of the top 10 best companies in the world as a motivation technique (usually called Innovation Time Off), all Google engineers are encouraged to spend 20% of their work time (one day per week) on projects that interest the. The culture at Google Inc. have helped its employees to do what they like to do and thereby reduces their job related stress levels.

In an effort to maintain the company’s unique flexible work culture, Google has designated a Chief Culture Officer in 2006, who also serves as the Director of Human Resources and the purpose of the Chief Culture Officer is to develop and maintain the culture and work on ways to keep true to the core values that the company was founded on in the beginning-a flat organization with a collaborative environment in order to help the employees to perform well in their jobs by balancing their work-life.

Here are some things you might find in a Google workspace:

Bicycles for efficient travel between meetings, dogs, lava lamps, and massage chairs.

Googlers sharing cubes, yurts, and huddle rooms (few single offices!) with three or four team members.

Laptops in every employee’s hand (or bike basket), for mobile coding and note-taking.

Pool tables, volleyball courts, assorted video games, pianos, ping pong tables, lap pools, gyms that include yoga and dance classes.

Grassroots employee organizations of all kinds, such as meditation classes, film clubs, wine tasting groups, and salsa dance clubs.

Healthy lunches and dinners for all staff at a wide variety of cafés, and outdoor seating for sunshine brainstorming.

Snack rooms packed with various snacks and drinks to keep Googlers going throughout the day.

These have helped the employees of Google Inc to balance their work-life so, that they could do more innovative, creative things.

2.6.2 How Cisco Systems helps its employees to balance work-life

As one of the top 10 companies of the world sustainable work performance based on employee satisfaction is critical to Cisco’s success. Accordingly, their managers are trained and encouraged to make sure employees can successfully balance their work and personal lives. Cisco has a tradition of offering employees the ability to work flexibly while meeting the needs of the business. Cisco wants to empower their employees to determine for themselves, in concert with their managers, how they can best manage their job and home responsibilities.

Flexibility, trust, and empowerment are the hallmarks of the employee-employer relationship at Cisco. Cisco employees require a holistic integration of work, family, health, and home to perform at their best. Cisco’s corporate culture is based on trust-the trust that executives invest in managers and other employees, and the trust that employees place in their managers and the company.

From the beginning, Cisco has informally offered employees a large degree of flexibility when it comes to work hours and telecommuting. This is an outgrowth of Cisco’s corporate culture, which has always focused on achieving results rather than putting in time at the office. Flexibility benefits work-life integration by enabling a work schedule that fits the individual and allows for personal contingencies, such as the need to care for a family member, see a doctor, attend to an emergency, or avoid high-traffic commute hours.

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Because most Cisco employees work flexible hours (flextime), there is no stigma attached to using this benefit to fulfill parenting and other responsibilities; it is simply part of how Cisco operates.

2.7 Implications for HR Managers

Work life balance has been considered as a growing vital fact in the work place in the modern era. Even though it has been one of the major demands by the employees when enrolling for a job it has not been an easy practice in an organization and something that the human resource managers could execute in the organization with less constrains as for the demand of the people. Therefore even work life balance and flexibility practices are been practiced in organization yet, HR managers still face some implications when trying to adopt this concept.

2.7.1 Culture

”Adaptive culture are those that value innovative and encourage and reward experimenting and risk taking by middle and lower level managers” (Braweays & Roger, 2008, p.240).

it is evident that the national culture of a nation has its impact of an organizations culture which operates in a country. To bring out a change into an organization or implement new practices cooperate culture of the entity should be flexible in order for it to be more effective. In some countries the concept of flexible work programs are still not accepted where as in some countries it has been implemented but the rate of success has not been to the level it was expected. To have a more realistic view point if we take Sri Lanka into consideration, telecommuting and job sharing are considered to be novel concepts in both private sector and the public sector. But we should also not forget that certain organizations in the public sector have been implementing this strategy to enhance their work force as well to enrich their jobs. But when we look into government cooperation’s even part time jobs and compressed work weeks are not even heard of and will not be encouraged in any given time due to the culture the government corporations operate within.

One of the major contributing factor and a strong back bone which supports telecommuting is the advancement of computer literacy. Taking it in contrast to Sri Lanka where reports have proven that the percentage out of the whole population who owns computers are well below average and the computer literacy level has been very worrying, therefore telecommuting in such cultures where computer illiteracy exist is a major challenge for the HR manager to be more precise is a task that cannot be carried out currently but with the development process and the increase in the levels of educational standards in the nation it may not be a long term dream but would be a dream which would be more of reality in the near future.

2.7.2 Performance evaluation

One of HR mangers major duties is to monitor the performance of the employees and evaluate him with set guidelines. The first question that rises is how can the performance of an employee who is being performing the given task from a different location as a result not under the supervision on the manager be able to overlook the work and appraise their performance. This is an area where many have argued that a further research is vital. A method of performance with flexible programs should be invented to make the task of HR mangers less complicated and more effective under such circumstances.

2.7.3 Organizations size

Size on the organization can be in the availability of resources that the organization has and the financial stability as well to some extent. For telecommuting and job sharing a large amount of resources are required a touch more for telecommuting. Therefore organizations rich resources would find it easy to run such a change over the organization processes of how work is done where as organizations that are small in scale would find it hard in order to benefit from such essential which brings about many advantages to the entity as well as the employees.

2.7.4 Training programs

For true work life balance to occur employees need to be responsible for adopting certain behaviors which help them balance work and other parts of their lives. Employees need to know how to handle organizational responsibilities and responsibilities to family, friends and self. Companies with a long term strategy on work life balance has adopted training to employees on how to tackle with personal conflicts which keep employees from being able to achieve work and family equilibrium.

3.0 RECOMMENDATION

Family paid trips for employees

Rewarding employee through performance appraisal. It is important that employee’s should be judged under certain criteria’s in order to be entitled for rewards to reduce conflicts among the other workers. Therefore employees should be judged using the tool of performance appraisal where he is decided whether he has been performing the required task effectively and efficiently therefore meeting the required and expected standards set by the organization. Such employees who perform under pressure would be experiencing high levels of stress therefore these employees who pass positive in the performance e appraisal review could be provided with incentive trips where the company takes the full cost level involved. Thus will ensure a good employee organization relationship and more over enable the organization to keep its work force more effective at al given times

Stress relief workshops

As stress is and serious issue that has to be addressed organizations to get the maximum out of their employees it is essential that they do address such issues in order to reduce the stress levels of their employees and also eliminate the building up of stress which is to take precautions beforehand. Therefore having workshops regarding how to handle stress level and how it can be managed at any given level would be one plan that organizations could implement, this would educate their work force about the goods of managing stress and the negative aspects that it can cause to them when it is not addressed. Another plan that organizations can execute is have some exercise programs that could be run ones a week or small broken down session which could be carried out after official working hours in order to ensure that the official work time is not disturbed. Such exercises could include yoga, aerobic etc. the third plan that could be rolled into the stress relief program could be organization vacation trips where all employees could take part and have some time off their busy work schedules.

Building up a leisure lounge in the organization complex

This has been one of the most effective practices used by leading organizations which have an effective work force in the modern era examples of such Google and Crisco. Therefore one of the best practices could be to build a leisure longue that includes a gaming zone, swimming pool etc. We should also not forget that the organizations which operate in the local would not be very open to such practices due to the culture that they have been operating and which has been the tradition of Sri Lankan organizations. And we should also not forget that there are organizations which are also open for change in order to increase their human capitals effectiveness. Therefore this would be one of the key practices that could be brought into action to minimize the stress level of the employees of an organization.

4.0 CONCLUSION

In conclusion, the essay mainly focused on the growing empathizes of implementing work life balance and flexibility strategies in organizations in the modern era. The most important thing that should be taken into consideration is that all organizations should get the correct balance between the strategy and the long run organizational goal in order to obtain a smooth process and a good flow of work.

In the course of this essay, there are issues on how organizations should manage their employees in order to reduce problems like employees turn over. As a high turnover might cause problems to the organization in the form of recruiting new employees and training them as this may take up a lot of time, which will affect the progress of production.

Whatever is said and told running such change in an organization is not a task that can be carried out by an HR manger in a short term of time. When implementing such change in an organization it is essential that the HR manger addresses the key issues in order to obtain effective results out of the practices

Overall work life balance and flexibility is one of the criteria’s that employees look and consider when working for an organization or looking for employment opportunities.

5.0 REFERENCES

Books

Alexander, J. O. (2005). Otward Real Performance: The circuit-breaker Technique. Supervisory Management, 5-12.

Braweays. M. J & Roger, (2008). “Understanding cross culture management”, 2nd edition, England.

Centro, S. C. (2009). “Modern Management Concepts and Skills”, 11th edition, New Jersey, USA.

Desseler. G & Varkkey. B. (2009) “Human resource management”, 11th edition, India.

Jones, R, G. (2005). “Organization theory, design, and change”, 4th edition, Pearson, Singapore.

Luthan. F. (2008). “Organizational Behavior”, 11th edition, McGraw-Hill, New York.

Michael Armstrong (2006), “Strategic Human Resource Management”, 5th edn, New Jersey, USA.

Perrow, C, (2006). Setting Strategic Goals and Objectives, 5th edn, St, Paul:West.

Samson, D. & Daft R. l (EDS). (2005). Fundamentals of Management (2nd ed.). Orlando, Florida

Stensholt, J. (2003). Golf needs a star driver. Business Review Weekly, 10-16 April, p. 64-70

Internet

Leading the four generations, Retrieved on 4th January, 2011 from:

http://www.amanet.org/training/articles/Leading-the-Four-Generations-at-Work.aspx

Generations of Workers, Retrieved on 4th January, 2011 from:

http://www.pljournal.com/networking/4-generations-of-workers.html

Stress Management in Generations, Retrieved on 6th January from:

http://www.fdu.edu/newspubs/magazine/05ws/generations.htm

Employer of Choice, Retrieved on January 8th from:

http://www.linnergy.com.au/Documents/EmployerofChoice.pdf

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