In today’s complex workplace, an employee’s performance is critical to the organization’s profitability and competitive advantage. Organizations are continually trying to discover the best organizational model, tactic or hack to get the best performances from their employees. While I truly believe there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to employee development and performance, scientific research is saying employees want more work/life integration which ultimately leads to improved performance. Work/life integration is the intersection of life and work and dealing with individuals as a whole person. Because work/life integration is such a necessity for employees, how do organizations implement work/life integration strategies and also improve employee performance?
Flexibility is a major component to work/life integration. Employees want to know they have a sense of control as to how, where, when and with whom they get work done. Performance is connected to flexibility because it gives the employee the autonomy they need to be creative and work at their own pace and still achieve the business results the organization desires. What employers have to understand is that not everyone gets work done in the same way. Some employees are morning people and work well between the hours of 7 am to noon, others hit their stride in the afternoon and evenings, and still others do their best work late at night. The goal in using work/life strategy to improve performance should be about getting the best out of the employee and maximizing their skills and abilities to achieve organizational goals. Secondly, flexibility leads to employees maintaining well-being. Well-being is about the overall emotional and physical health of a person. When a person feels good physically and has positive emotions, they perform better at work. In my previous blog, I stated “well-being is the new currency in the workplace.” I believe this to be true wholeheartedly and its significance in getting employees to perform cannot be overstated. The leading cause of employees disengaging and underperforming at work is stress and depression. When employees experience negative emotions they lose focus, lack creativity, and become unmotivated. As a result, the employee does not perform to the best of their ability. Therefore, organizations must counter this problem with a strong emphasis on building healthy relationships, discovering meaning and purpose and highlighting physical wellness. With that said, flexibility and well-being complement each other when it comes to implementing work/life strategies to improve performance in employees. If organizations want to achieve business results, employee performance is a vital part of getting the outcomes they so desire. It is essential to put a strong emphasis on getting the best out of an employee, and as a result the organization wins. Employees want to perform and give their best to their employer but not at the expense of enjoying a life outside of work or sacrificing their well-being. Win-win strategies for the employer and employee create sustainability and competitive advantages.
Michael Dickerson is a work/life expert, Positive Psychology Practitioner, and host of The Spillover Effect Podcast. He utilizes positive psychology science and research to contribute to individuals, teams and organizations factors that can help employees achieve work/life integration. Michael believes is dealing with individuals as a whole person and enhancing the employee experience within organizations.