5 Steps To Help Your Team Find Balance

One thing we learned at our Zealeap Culture Club last week: Most of us are pretty crummy at finding our own “work/ life balance” yet we all want it (see the Blog Post here.)

So rather than try to persuade you of all the benefits of an engaged, passionate team – I’ll ask you this instead:

Why do we manage our employees as if they are out to screw us?

I say this because:

  • We measure them by the hours spent at their desk not by what they get done.
  • We expect them to work over the weekend but frown on it when they go for a lunchtime workout.
  • They work late every night yet get only 2 weeks of vacation.

Perhaps we’ve created the conditions under which our employees are tempted to “screw us”?

That is: We don’t trust them – therefore – they take advantage of us (just to get even)?

Time to break the cycle, build trust and get more from your team.

© iStock Photo

The Zealeap Culture Club came up with 5 steps to help your team balance their work and personal lives:

1) Have a Conversation.

  • Ask each team member: “What does ‘balance’ mean to you?”
  • Ask what makes them happy?
  • Ask how you could support them in getting more balance?

2) Challenge the Rules!

  • Why do we have “work hours” anyway?  OK sometimes we need coverage, so let your team help solve that together (there’s a “night owl” for every “early bird”!)
  • Why do we fill out “time reports”?
  • Why do we have to take “sick time” to go to the Doctor, yet we work late at night?

3) Be More Flexible – Get More Flexibility.

  • You want your employees to be flexible, shouldn’t they expect the same in return?
  • Try trusting your team a little bit more. Stop making snarky comments when people “flex”.
  • Risk being burned every-now-and-then to make sure that the 90% that can be trusted feel that way.

4) Judge based on Results.

  • Throw away the clock and start measuring based on whether or not your people get results.
  • This means more work for you: you have to define what you expect, and make sure it gets done. You have to help.
  • But heck – that’s what managers are supposed to do!

5) Be Fair and Consistent.

  • Don’t give folks in Management positions more flexibility – boy does that create resentment!
  • And don’t just flex for the parents. Single people have lives too!

Ultimately I don’t even think we are talking about “balance”. I think we are talking about Trust.

So when are you going to start trusting your people? And earning theirs?

So how do you help your employees find balance? Please share your ideas in the comments below.

Thanks for reading,


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