Work-Life Balance Lessons to Learn from Amazon’s Blunders

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As the terms “workplace culture” and “work-life balance” continue to gain traction in the modern employment atmosphere, organizations are reflecting on their work hours, employee treatment, and demands on an unprecedented level.

In the midst of such a movement to improve employee morale, big-name companies such as Amazon have recently been in the spotlight for lacking such treatment.

 
In order to boost employee morale and avoid less-than-flattering observations on an organization's culture, management should consider the top five benefits of providing a healthy work-life balance:

Realize the Increased Effectiveness
While management often requires employees to work longer hours in order to stay on top of the tasks at hand, this might actually be counterproductive. According to Corporate Executive Board, employees who feel they have good work-life balance work 21% harder than those who don’t. Expecting a reasonable number of hours and providing flexibility may encourage employees to complete the same amount of work in less time, increasing efficiency and employee satisfaction.

Work to Reduce Turnover
One of the most expensive challenges that an organization faces is employee turnover. Each time an employee leaves the company, the money spent recruiting and training that employee has been wasted. Replacing individual contributor-level employees generally costs $3,000 to $18,000, according to Forbes. Providing work-life balance creates more satisfied employees, which in turn reduces the costs of hiring and re-hiring.

Improve the Workplace Environment
Most simply put, happy employees create a positive workplace culture, while negative employees create a miserable culture. In this way, one employee’s attitude becomes infectious. Providing flexible schedules, being understanding of family circumstances, and requiring reasonable working hours goes a long way in promoting positivity, while failing to provide such things has a negative impact across departments.

 

Focus on Health Toll
Research has proven on multiple occasions that stress leads directly to health issues. While this might seem irrelevant to management, it actually effects the time an employee needs away from work for health-related reasons. The Health Advancement Research Organization recently found that high-stress employees rack up 46% higher health costs. Reducing employee stress cuts company costs.

Create Greater Loyalty
When an employee feels valued by management, he or she is often more likely to “go the extra mile” in times of organizational need. When a task needs to be done, such employees are more likely to step up even if it is outside their typical duties or job description. Meanwhile, disgruntled employees are less likely to feel sympathy for their stressed managers. Such employees are less loyal and possess the "what's in it for me" attitude.

In a modern work culture that emphasizes employee happiness and work-life balance, management must consider such aspects in order to maintain productivity and morale. The days of grueling hours, work before family, and unrealistic demands are quickly becoming outdated, causing managers to reconsider previous attitudes and practices. Consider these attributes in a way that provides balance within the organization, providing appreciation in a way that rewards the employee without the allowance of flexibility for little output.

By considering the benefits of work-life balance, managers will begin to fully understand the changing tides in workplace culture while implementing more productive strategies. Only in this way can effectiveness and positivity truly be maximized on all business fronts.

More information:
6 Reasons to Promote Happiness in the Workplace
Why Employee Happiness Matters
The 10 Least Stressful Companies to Work For

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