Taking the necessary steps to develop a healthy work-life balance can be difficult. As a manager and an empathetic leader, you can help your employees (and yourself) by building pathways for them to make these changes.
Here are seven ways managers can help their employees build good work-life balance:
- Remind your team to unplug
Encourage your team to leave their laptops and work phones at home when they go on vacation. You may think it doesn’t need to be said, but they will appreciate the explicit permission.
- Give employees space to connect
Organize virtual happy hours, birthday parties, book clubs, and other opportunities to connect socially. Put your lunch break on your calendar so they can see that you eat, too.
- Educate employees on their benefits
Remind your employees that sick leave and PTO are part of their compensation, and don’t forget to take advantage of them yourself! When it comes to taking time off, actions speak louder than words.
- Check in with direct reports
Make time during your check-ins to ask about employee well-being. You may have to read between the lines for what’s not being said. Missed deadlines or a lack of responsiveness can indicate overwhelm.
- Set an example for your team
Take meetings while walking, introduce them to your kids on Zoom (we already know they’re there), or space out meetings so they have some breathing room.
- Be aware of company culture and norms
Try not to normalize an “instant messaging” culture. Make it clear that messages sent on off-hours don’t require immediate attention, and avoid interpreting responsiveness as engagement.
- Respect working hours
Don’t schedule meetings before or after work hours. This can be tricky when working across different time zones. Encourage your employees to end work at a designated time each day and check in with anyone you notice consistently working after-hours.