A good work-life balance helps everyone thrive in their personal lives and on the farm.
Originally published at dairyherd.com 9/3/21.
Work-life balance is the buzzword as of late, and for a good reason.
It can be a struggle to make all employees happy. But your employees struggle too. Farming can be long hours, which means less time for other important aspects of life such as family, friends, hobbies, and self-care. When employees have a good balance between work and life, they feel a greater sense of control and ownership over their own lives. They tend to have better relationships with management and co-workers. On the other hand..
When employees DON’T have the right balance between work and life, they suffer from unhappiness, burnout, and frustration.
Employees who are not happy give less effort and teamwork. They may even consider changing jobs. According to a MetLife 2019 Study, over 92% of workers are willing to change industries.
The power dynamic has changed! As a result, employers must do everything possible to invest in their employees' enrichment, not only at work but also in their personal lives.
A good work-life balance can fuel employees with:
- Improved health due to less stress
- More significant commitment to their job and their teams
- Improved engagement at work
- Less work-related conflicts
- Greater loyalty to your business
Fortunately, there are initiatives you can implement to improve the work-life balance for your employees. These benefits will not only improve morale but also help you retain your good employees.
To improve the work-life balance on your operation
- Lead by example. (Create your own work-life balance that employees can resonate with)
- Provide an open-door policy, allowing employees to communicate with you openly. It is remarkable how many issues can be worked out if your staff feels free to have open discussions.
- Allow limited carry-over of PTO. As employers, we want our workers to take time off to rest and enjoy themselves with family or friends.
- Attempt to create a mix of duties. (Inside work and outside work)
- Offer flexible hours. The workday is no longer one-size-fits-all. (Your employees want to attend their kid's soccer games occasionally)
- Provide creative incentives. (Family movie passes along with Friday night off)
- Provide the benefits they want and need. (Not everyone needs health insurance or won’t take it, consider alternatives such as gift cards for gas and oil changes or a beef steer/pay for processing, accounting, or tax services)
- Provide wellness initiatives. (Free or partial membership to a health club or develop a wellness challenge like weight loss)
- Organize team-building activities. (Soccer teams / volleyball / softball)
- Encourage employee training and education.
- Incorporate stay interviews yearly to learn what your employees like about the job and what could be improved.
- Host a “bring your family to the farm day.” This event allows employees to show their families where they work and what they do. In addition, on-farm days can be a great educational experience for family members.
- Host monthly employee and family night dinners on the farm.
- Create a safe and healthy working environment.
- Recognize employee’s hard work.
In a world where job opportunities are endless, take the necessary steps to develop areas of work-life balance within your teams. Then, not only will you retain your current employees, but your business will have a reputation for encouraging a solid work-life balance making you more attractive to future new hires.