How to encourage a better work-life balance through rewards and recognition schemes
By Danni Rush, Chief Operating Officer at Virgin Experience Days, Virgin Incentives and Virgin Experience Gifts
Cultivating a work-life balance is a hot topic and it’s becoming more important than ever before. A recent study by Aviva found that 46% of employees had chosen their role based on work-life balance compared to 36% who said it was pay. So how can businesses create a culture where their colleagues feel supported, valued, and motivated?
Help people spot the signs of burnout
The sooner the signs of any stress are spotted at work, the better, as this can help prevent employees from experiencing burnout, especially as we head into peak season.
Managers and leaders should be educated on the signs of stress and how to look out for these within their teams and colleagues around them. Notable signs may include: a decrease in productivity, employees taking a lot of time off, employees working overtime, high levels of absences and people feeling overwhelmed by work.
Once these signs have been spotted, it’s important managers know how to effectively manage these, and have the right tools to provide their teams support and knowledge of various strategies to reduce levels of work-related stress and anxiety. The WHO recently released a report sharing support strategies for colleagues experiencing poor mental health or appropriately managing the return of those who’ve taken sick leave as a result. This is a great resource that can be used by people managers across different workplaces.
Introduce HR policies that support balance
Leaders can encourage a work-life balance by setting boundaries between work and home life. Over a quarter of people say they find it hard to relax during their own time due to work. The boundaries between home and work have become blurred since the pandemic so this is especially important.
Introducing flexible work patterns can be helpful, especially to parents and carers. Offering flexible, remote or hybrid working gives your employees choice and more control over their working day, and this can also be an attractive benefit to your new employees as it shows support for a healthy work-life balance.
How reward and recognition schemes can improve employee wellbeing
Reward and recognition schemes can help promote a better work life balance in multiple ways. However, there isn’t a one size fits all approach, but your initiatives should align with the company’s core values and it’s culture, whilst offering individual recognition needed to create a happier workforce.
Here are five ideas for how businesses can recognise colleagues:
- Give time back – consider encouraging balance by offering extra annual leave or late starts and early finishes. These incentives will allow employees time to relax, and take part in activities they enjoy outside of work.
- Companywide celebrations for achievements – this can boost employees’ self-esteem and confidence. It can also motivate the team and exemplify manager and peer-to-peer appreciation, improving team morale and create a better together culture.
- Recognising life events and milestone moments – Celebrating life events such as moving house, getting married, or having a baby adds a personal touch to a work relationship and shows that you are invested in people’s personal lives outside of work.
- Career milestones should be celebrated – a ‘long service award’ or ‘employee of the month’ as well as bespoke rewards, are great ways of recognising loyalty and hard work. Personalising the rewards with gestures such as gift cards for people to use on their favourite experiences recognises outstanding work and supports people to indulge in their passions with their friends and family.
- Encourage downtime – Wellness offerings such as spa days and relaxation experiences can remind teams to take some time out. Employees that are encouraged to take time for themselves, will likely return to work feeling more engaged and productive, as well as more appreciative for the reward itself.
By promoting long term rewards and recognition schemes, employers will play a vital role in reinforcing positive mental health amongst their colleagues. The scheme should be underpinned by policies that help colleagues to strike the much sought-after work-life balance.
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