The Herman Group issued a great report that indicates more and more employees are seeking employment with organizations that value their corporate values. As Roger Herman’s report indicated, “More people, in their work environment, are basing work and life decisions on personal and organizational values. People are talking about values with their co-workers and their employers.” The report also indicated that more employees are no longer seeking employment with organizations that simply offer higher compensation than the competition. Instead, they're looking to work with – and stay with – organizations that believe in not work-life balance, but life-work balance.
So what is life-work versus work-life balance and how, as employers, do we take note of this trend?
Life-work balance is an understanding that to more and more workers in the workplace – and soon entering the workplace – life comes first; work second. To many of us employers this is a stark shift from what we've become accustomed to. For years we've had the luxury of employees who were willing to sacrifice family time to ensure the job got done. Now, trends are indicating that employees are looking to continue to “get the job done”, but in more flexible ways that ensures they don’t miss out on their lives with their children, elderly parents, etc. More employees are seeking employers who offer a more varied benefits package. Packages that offer such things as flex-time, full-family health insurance, day care, elder care, laundry/dry cleaning pick-up, pharmacy drop-off/pick-up, grocery drop-off/pick-up, on-site salons, manicure services, chair massages, and many other services that help employees fulfill their “life” responsibilities, while they get the job done.
In addition to providing benefits most desired by their employees, organizations that are life-work oriented, also firmly believe in living their corporate values day in and day out. From the business owner to the newest hire on the front-line, the corporate values are discussed and projected each day by every employee in the organization. It becomes unmistakable to anyone who visits the organization or interacts with it, what kind of values they hold.
If the values and character of the organization match the values and character of the individual employees, their time together is more balanced, focused, and productive. However, this can only happen if both the company and the employee focus on living good lives and producing good work. Then they'll be in balance together.