Work-life balance policies crucial for talent

Individualisation is driving work-life balance strategies and HR policies, which is crucial if organisations are to achieve the talent they require to grow.

Speaking at the Employee Benefits Summit in Alicante, Spain, in a session looking at ‘Workplace flexibility as a tool to boost productivity’, Dr Steven Poelmans, professor and director of the Coaching Competency Center – EADA Business School, explained that organisations now need employees who are versatile, flexible and able to adapt to a changing environment.

He added that organisations also need higher productivity levels if they are to follow the base of a market which needs to grow. This means attracting certain demographic groups, such as women, rendering work-life balance policies and flexibility increasingly important.

“Organisations that know how to confront these [issues] will be able to build a sustainable and competitive advantage,” said Poelmans.

The first step to achieving this is to conduct a demographic study of employees, because different groups will have very different perceptions of work-life balance. Generation Y-ers, for example, typically expect a much better work-life balance than previous generations.

“They want work-life balance because if they have a job that is meaningful, then their life becomes more meaningful,” said Poelmans

Simply introducing general policies, however, will not be as effective as those that are tailored to suit employees on a case-by-case basis. “Adapt policies to suit particular departments,” said Poelmans. “We need leaders and middle managers to adapt policies to each individual person.”