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Different Generations, Different Work/Life Balance Needs

Jill Schaefer /
  • Categories: HR

Does achieving work/life balance seem impossible for yourself let alone for your multigenerational employees?

Hang in there. Understanding generational differences and making a few simple adjustments can help prevent your employees from burning out.

Why Work/Life Balance Matters

When employees’ professional lives and their personal lives are in balance, employers benefit in several ways:

  • Fewer on-the-job injuries
  • Decreased absenteeism
  • Higher employee retention rates
  • Improved recruitment capabilities
  • Better industry competitiveness
  • Increased productivity

Inside the Minds of 4 Generations

One key thing to keep in mind with work/life balance is that your employees are individuals and their generation, upbringing and personalities influence how they view work and play. What may be a work imbalance for one person could be just right for someone else.

a chart from traditionalist to millennial and how their differences range

4 Tips for Better Work/Life Balance

Employees that feel connected to their bosses and employers are more loyal and respectful and create a positive work environment. Here’s how to make it happen.

  1. Embrace Flexibility — Working from home isn’t the be all, end all when it comes to work/life balance. Think more broadly. What employee accommodations can you make that still support your business needs? For example, you may want to consider a split shift or an alternative workweek, job sharing, paternity leave, concierge programs, etc.
  2. Offer the Benefit of Convenience — Having on-site daycare is a huge retention perk for employees with children. Invite the financial planners who administer your retirement plan to come to your job site to conduct financial consultations with employees. Think outside of the box too, such as arranging for a local dry cleaner to pick-up garments at your office.
  3. Evaluate Your Turnover Rates — Are employees leaving in droves? Conduct exit interviews and listen for potential work/life imbalances. Send confidential surveys out to existing employees to gain more insight into their preferences and use that knowledge to shape your workplace programs.
  4. Evaluate Overtime — If an employee is logging a ton of overtime hours, chances are he/she is overworked. Plus, if the employee is hourly, you may be overspending compared to the cost of an additional employee’s wage.

Additional Resource

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