Balance Begins at the Top
Amid workplace news regularly coining new terms like “quiet quitting” and “rage applying,” it can feel discouraging for leaders as we try to build and maintain healthy, successful teams. We know the truth is more nuanced than “no one wants to work anymore.” Today’s working professional understands the need for balance, choosing employers who allow this flexibility.
The good news? As leaders, we can do that. And we should. Balance begins with our buy-in, resulting in happy, healthy, productive teams. These habitual shifts radiate leadership and set the tone for a balanced workplace:
Know Workers are Watching
At the very core of work-life balance is how much time a worker dedicates to their work life vs. their personal life. When a worker sets and maintains boundaries, but notices others routinely working in the office longer than usual or sending communications during designated “off” times like the weekends, it creates a dissonance that can make staff feel pressured to do the same in order to succeed.
Of course, another aspect of balance is flexible hours meaning we aren’t all working the same traditional 8-hour shift. Strong leadership includes being transparent about different schedules or setting norms around communication to demonstrate what is expected and acceptable.
Keep Expectations Real
Just as important as the balance found between work and life is the balance needed throughout the workday. If employees are loaded with meetings that chip away at working time or are constantly assigned rush tasks, frustration and burnout are natural results. Leaders can create a balanced work environment by managing expectations, setting realistic deadlines, and being open to team feedback – there will be times when delegating or reprioritizing will be the key to a balanced workday.
Just as I balance technology with instinct in my search for balanced, qualified professionals, leaders must balance culture with capabilities to support their teams.