Go Back   ManagementParadise.com | Management & Business Education Learning Platform Resolve Your Query - Get Help and discuss Projects > Human Resources Management

The Balancing Act by Joan Gurvis

Discuss The Balancing Act by Joan Gurvis within the Human Resources Management forums, part of the Resolve Your Query - Get Help and discuss Projects category; The Balancing Act Real-world studies of working managers challenge the view that more time and energy working equals on-the-job effectiveness. ...

Reply

 

Thread Tools Display Modes
The Balancing Act by Joan Gurvis
Old
 (1 (permalink))
Manish Kathuria
hsinam will become famous soon enough
 
hsinam
Student of PGDM at Fore School of Management
New Delhi, Delhi
Management Paradise Newbie
 
Status: Offline
Posts: 101
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: New Delhi, Delhi
The Balancing Act by Joan Gurvis - June 22nd, 2008

The Balancing Act


Real-world studies of working managers challenge the view that more time and energy working equals on-the-job effectiveness. In fact, studies show that leaders who achieve more balance between work and their personal lives are rated as significantly more effective by their bosses and by others in the workplace. Four steps are suggested to help workers create that balance.

In today's fast-paced global marketplace, it can be tough for employees to find equilibrium and achieve a balanced life. Cell phones, BlackBerries, text messaging and e-mail are keeping workers connected 24/7. As a result, many feel pressure to pay constant attention to work at the sacrifice of personal pursuits.

According to studies, workers in the United States spend 20 percent more time on the job now than in 1970. One in three U.S. workers is chronically overworked, and more than half (54 percent) feel overwhelmed by their workload and find it necessary to multitask and work during leisure hours. More than one-third of workers were not planning on using all of their vacation leave.

But is that approach good for business? The evidence says "no" and indicates there is a positive payoff for organizations that help employees find a satisfying equilibrium between their work and private lives.

Balanced Leaders are Better Performers

Dawn is a graduate of one of the nation's top M.B.A. schools but is languishing in her career. She has decided the answer is to devote more hours to an already hectic job, hoping it will make her stand out from the pack.

Is Dawn making the right choice? It is certainly the prevailing point of view that a leader's effectiveness is correlated to the amount of time and energy spent on the job. But real-world studies of working managers now challenge that point of view.

Studies show that leaders who achieve more balance between work and their personal lives are rated as significantly more effective by their bosses and by others in the workplace.

These findings are drawn from feedback of mid- to senior-level leaders from public and private organizations from around the globe. Each participated in leadership-developm ent programs or executive-coaching sessions delivered by the Center for Creative Leadership, a global nonprofit organization focused on leadership education and research.

Jean Leslie, a CCL researcher designed the feedback study that included more than 100,000 observer ratings (boss, peers, and direct reports) using Benchmarks, the center's most widely used 360-degree assessment tool.

Her findings were key in establishing a link between leadership effectiveness and work/life balance. The observers were asked to rate participants on a wide range of behaviors and skills, including those reflecting life-work balance, such as:

a) Strikes a reasonable balance between work and private life;
b) Acts as if there is more to life than just having a career;
c) Has activities and interests outside of career;
d) Does not take career so seriously that his/her personal life suffers;
e) Does not let job demands cause family problems.

This cumulative, 360-degree assessment data shows that individuals who receive high scores on "balance" questions are far more likely to be rated highly for their leadership effectiveness as well.

Similarly, a recent study by CCL, in Greensboro, N.C., and Clark University in Worcester, Mass., contradicts the conventional wisdom that busy parents are likely to be ineffective at their jobs because of the distraction caused by demands in their personal lives.

The study shows that being a committed parent can actually improve a manager's work performance. Parents must be skilled at multitasking and must learn to negotiate tough issues, exact a compromise and resolve conflicts -- all important traits for successful managers.

Balance Impacts Retention

Paul is a single father whose wife died three years ago, leaving him with a teenage son. At the time, Paul was a senior investment broker with a wealth management firm and often worked long hours and weekends. After his wife's death, he opted to leave the firm and start a home-based financial
planning business so he could spend more time with his son. Despite a significant drop in income, he feels he made the right choice.

Though Paul's circumstances seem unique, trends identified by CCL indicate that establishing work/life balance can have a significant impact on retention regardless of an employee's life circumstances.

In fact, contrary to conventional wisdom, encouraging employees to find time for their families and life outside of the office is good for business.

According to Fortune magazine's ranking of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" in 2007, four of the best 25 companies also received high marks for promoting a healthy work/life balance. Information from the 2008 list was not available.

Having employees whose work and personal lives are balanced has tangible benefits -- not only for the employees but for the organization overall. Best companies experience employees performing more effectively in teams and report decreased levels of absenteeism and burnout.

These companies seem to have an edge over the competition when it comes to talent; they are able to demonstrate an increased ability to attract and retain skilled people; higher levels of production, satisfaction, morale, initiative, and teamwork; and decreased levels of absenteeism and burnout.

HR professionals have taken note of that and are asking employees more frequently about work/life balance issues during the interview process. Establishing a match between employee needs and company expectations is a good indicator of a successful fit for the company and the employee.

Interestingly, Jennifer Deal, a colleague at CCL, has conducted significant research that explores how the differences among the generations play out in the workplace. Her studies show that balance has an important impact on retention for workers at all stages of life.

Whether they are raising young families, preparing for retirement, caring for elderly parents or pursuing personal interests, they want to work for an organization that respects their need to have a life. So how can HR leaders leverage these research findings into a competitive advantage?

Ideas into Action:

Here are four important steps organizations can take to help workers navigate their need for work/life balance:

1. Clarify priorities

Challenge: Managers reported they have trouble determining priorities when everything at work is deemed urgent. That makes it harder for them to make family a priority since the work pressure never eases up.

Action tip: Having open conversations about work priorities with the boss is critical. Facilitating those conversations during performance management check-in sessions is critical. Gaining agreement on how to resolve potential conflicts or establishing a shared understanding can go a long way in creating satisfaction and maintaining a high-performing workforce.

2. Realistic resourcing

Challenge: Those with too much work to be done during the normal work day routinely must put in extra hours. In order to take necessary time with their families, workers feel forced to submit substandard work or to decide that something isn't going to get done. The perception is that their employer doesn't care enough about them or the job to provide sufficient resources.

Action tip: Regularly re-assess job functions and roles. How often does work get carried over from year to year because things have always been done that way? Are your orientation programs providing enough direction to new employees about job scope and scale? Are managers skilled in knowing how to coach their employees on doing "the right work." Working smarter not harder will have multiple payoffs.

3. Reduce stress

Challenge: Extreme stress can cause individuals to leave their jobs or to turn down more challenging positions. They feel forced to choose between work and the kind of lives they want to lead.

Action tip: Create learning programs for your workforce on stress reduction. If you don't have a good employee-assistance program, look for options. Help senior leaders identify key company values that address work/life balance and make them explicit for employees.

Then, check whether those values are being honored and modeled. There is nothing worse than professing a company value and then creating policies in opposition. Are your high performers getting the support they need to continue to sustain their productivity?

4. Create flexibility

Challenge: Many survey respondents said they would be more likely to stay with their employer if they could work on a flexible schedule. People with children thought flexibility would allow them to get more work done. Many older workers thought a flexible schedule would be more convenient as they approach retirement. People of all generations reported that telecommuting was a viable option.

Action tip: Examine work policies and find opportunities to be creative and flexible in scheduling. Create a focus group or poll employees in different roles and locations to see what is satisfying for them and where they might be opportunities to challenge the norm.

Walk the Talk

It's a given that our capacity to work is not boundless. By encouraging employees to recognize this fact and to balance their work and personal lives, HR leaders can produce tangible benefits for the business. It will improve the ability to attract and retain skilled people and will result in higher levels of productivity, job satisfaction and morale.

So why aren't companies doing more to generate meaningful options for employees that help them achieve balance? In fact, many are beginning to make a valid attempt. They are establishing more flexible work policies and are actually requiring employees to take their earned time off.

But most companies do a better job of talking about balance than actually encouraging or providing for it.

The key is found in the supervisory workforce. Supervisors are often the best barometer for what's going on in the organization and directly impact how employees interpret what is expected of them.

Supervisors communicate values and expectations, and decide how policies will be implemented. Consciously or unconsciously, they can create an environment where employees are afraid of being labeled as slackers if they make time for their personal life.

The dynamic between employees and their bosses makes it imperative that balance becomes a priority that is lived and communicated from the top down. HR executives need to make certain their companies' executives and line supervisors know that individual behaviors say more to an employee than anything stated in a company manual about the importance of having a life outside the office.

Above all, HR leaders need to try to create an environment that allows for frank and open dialogue among employees, supervisors and peers on issues of balance and on how to create effective work/life strategies.

If such an environment is created, HR executives can see improved retention and productivity as well as cultivate a team of satisfied employees who are committed to the company's success.

[About the Author: Joan Gurvis is the campus director of the CCL's Colorado Springs campus The Center for Creative Leadership is a global nonprofit institution focused exclusively on leadership education and research. She is co-author of Finding Your Balance, one in a series of CCL guidebooks containing practical tips on how to turn ideas into action.]
Advertisements

Friends: (0)
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to For This Useful Post:
Re: The Balancing Act by Joan Gurvis
Old
 (2 (permalink))
Jitendra Mazee
jitendra05 is on a distinguished road
 
jitendra05
Student of Bachelor of Engineering at RGTU Bhopal
Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
Management Paradise Guru
 
Institute: RGTU Bhopal
Status: Offline
Posts: 27,848
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
Re: The Balancing Act by Joan Gurvis - April 15th, 2016

Quote:
Originally Posted by hsinam View Post
The Balancing Act


Real-world studies of working managers challenge the view that more time and energy working equals on-the-job effectiveness. In fact, studies show that leaders who achieve more balance between work and their personal lives are rated as significantly more effective by their bosses and by others in the workplace. Four steps are suggested to help workers create that balance.

In today's fast-paced global marketplace, it can be tough for employees to find equilibrium and achieve a balanced life. Cell phones, BlackBerries, text messaging and e-mail are keeping workers connected 24/7. As a result, many feel pressure to pay constant attention to work at the sacrifice of personal pursuits.

According to studies, workers in the United States spend 20 percent more time on the job now than in 1970. One in three U.S. workers is chronically overworked, and more than half (54 percent) feel overwhelmed by their workload and find it necessary to multitask and work during leisure hours. More than one-third of workers were not planning on using all of their vacation leave.

But is that approach good for business? The evidence says "no" and indicates there is a positive payoff for organizations that help employees find a satisfying equilibrium between their work and private lives.

Balanced Leaders are Better Performers

Dawn is a graduate of one of the nation's top M.B.A. schools but is languishing in her career. She has decided the answer is to devote more hours to an already hectic job, hoping it will make her stand out from the pack.

Is Dawn making the right choice? It is certainly the prevailing point of view that a leader's effectiveness is correlated to the amount of time and energy spent on the job. But real-world studies of working managers now challenge that point of view.

Studies show that leaders who achieve more balance between work and their personal lives are rated as significantly more effective by their bosses and by others in the workplace.

These findings are drawn from feedback of mid- to senior-level leaders from public and private organizations from around the globe. Each participated in leadership-developm ent programs or executive-coaching sessions delivered by the Center for Creative Leadership, a global nonprofit organization focused on leadership education and research.

Jean Leslie, a CCL researcher designed the feedback study that included more than 100,000 observer ratings (boss, peers, and direct reports) using Benchmarks, the center's most widely used 360-degree assessment tool.

Her findings were key in establishing a link between leadership effectiveness and work/life balance. The observers were asked to rate participants on a wide range of behaviors and skills, including those reflecting life-work balance, such as:

a) Strikes a reasonable balance between work and private life;
b) Acts as if there is more to life than just having a career;
c) Has activities and interests outside of career;
d) Does not take career so seriously that his/her personal life suffers;
e) Does not let job demands cause family problems.

This cumulative, 360-degree assessment data shows that individuals who receive high scores on "balance" questions are far more likely to be rated highly for their leadership effectiveness as well.

Similarly, a recent study by CCL, in Greensboro, N.C., and Clark University in Worcester, Mass., contradicts the conventional wisdom that busy parents are likely to be ineffective at their jobs because of the distraction caused by demands in their personal lives.

The study shows that being a committed parent can actually improve a manager's work performance. Parents must be skilled at multitasking and must learn to negotiate tough issues, exact a compromise and resolve conflicts -- all important traits for successful managers.

Balance Impacts Retention

Paul is a single father whose wife died three years ago, leaving him with a teenage son. At the time, Paul was a senior investment broker with a wealth management firm and often worked long hours and weekends. After his wife's death, he opted to leave the firm and start a home-based financial
planning business so he could spend more time with his son. Despite a significant drop in income, he feels he made the right choice.

Though Paul's circumstances seem unique, trends identified by CCL indicate that establishing work/life balance can have a significant impact on retention regardless of an employee's life circumstances.

In fact, contrary to conventional wisdom, encouraging employees to find time for their families and life outside of the office is good for business.

According to Fortune magazine's ranking of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" in 2007, four of the best 25 companies also received high marks for promoting a healthy work/life balance. Information from the 2008 list was not available.

Having employees whose work and personal lives are balanced has tangible benefits -- not only for the employees but for the organization overall. Best companies experience employees performing more effectively in teams and report decreased levels of absenteeism and burnout.

These companies seem to have an edge over the competition when it comes to talent; they are able to demonstrate an increased ability to attract and retain skilled people; higher levels of production, satisfaction, morale, initiative, and teamwork; and decreased levels of absenteeism and burnout.

HR professionals have taken note of that and are asking employees more frequently about work/life balance issues during the interview process. Establishing a match between employee needs and company expectations is a good indicator of a successful fit for the company and the employee.

Interestingly, Jennifer Deal, a colleague at CCL, has conducted significant research that explores how the differences among the generations play out in the workplace. Her studies show that balance has an important impact on retention for workers at all stages of life.

Whether they are raising young families, preparing for retirement, caring for elderly parents or pursuing personal interests, they want to work for an organization that respects their need to have a life. So how can HR leaders leverage these research findings into a competitive advantage?

Ideas into Action:

Here are four important steps organizations can take to help workers navigate their need for work/life balance:

1. Clarify priorities

Challenge: Managers reported they have trouble determining priorities when everything at work is deemed urgent. That makes it harder for them to make family a priority since the work pressure never eases up.

Action tip: Having open conversations about work priorities with the boss is critical. Facilitating those conversations during performance management check-in sessions is critical. Gaining agreement on how to resolve potential conflicts or establishing a shared understanding can go a long way in creating satisfaction and maintaining a high-performing workforce.

2. Realistic resourcing

Challenge: Those with too much work to be done during the normal work day routinely must put in extra hours. In order to take necessary time with their families, workers feel forced to submit substandard work or to decide that something isn't going to get done. The perception is that their employer doesn't care enough about them or the job to provide sufficient resources.

Action tip: Regularly re-assess job functions and roles. How often does work get carried over from year to year because things have always been done that way? Are your orientation programs providing enough direction to new employees about job scope and scale? Are managers skilled in knowing how to coach their employees on doing "the right work." Working smarter not harder will have multiple payoffs.

3. Reduce stress

Challenge: Extreme stress can cause individuals to leave their jobs or to turn down more challenging positions. They feel forced to choose between work and the kind of lives they want to lead.

Action tip: Create learning programs for your workforce on stress reduction. If you don't have a good employee-assistance program, look for options. Help senior leaders identify key company values that address work/life balance and make them explicit for employees.

Then, check whether those values are being honored and modeled. There is nothing worse than professing a company value and then creating policies in opposition. Are your high performers getting the support they need to continue to sustain their productivity?

4. Create flexibility

Challenge: Many survey respondents said they would be more likely to stay with their employer if they could work on a flexible schedule. People with children thought flexibility would allow them to get more work done. Many older workers thought a flexible schedule would be more convenient as they approach retirement. People of all generations reported that telecommuting was a viable option.

Action tip: Examine work policies and find opportunities to be creative and flexible in scheduling. Create a focus group or poll employees in different roles and locations to see what is satisfying for them and where they might be opportunities to challenge the norm.

Walk the Talk

It's a given that our capacity to work is not boundless. By encouraging employees to recognize this fact and to balance their work and personal lives, HR leaders can produce tangible benefits for the business. It will improve the ability to attract and retain skilled people and will result in higher levels of productivity, job satisfaction and morale.

So why aren't companies doing more to generate meaningful options for employees that help them achieve balance? In fact, many are beginning to make a valid attempt. They are establishing more flexible work policies and are actually requiring employees to take their earned time off.

But most companies do a better job of talking about balance than actually encouraging or providing for it.

The key is found in the supervisory workforce. Supervisors are often the best barometer for what's going on in the organization and directly impact how employees interpret what is expected of them.

Supervisors communicate values and expectations, and decide how policies will be implemented. Consciously or unconsciously, they can create an environment where employees are afraid of being labeled as slackers if they make time for their personal life.

The dynamic between employees and their bosses makes it imperative that balance becomes a priority that is lived and communicated from the top down. HR executives need to make certain their companies' executives and line supervisors know that individual behaviors say more to an employee than anything stated in a company manual about the importance of having a life outside the office.

Above all, HR leaders need to try to create an environment that allows for frank and open dialogue among employees, supervisors and peers on issues of balance and on how to create effective work/life strategies.

If such an environment is created, HR executives can see improved retention and productivity as well as cultivate a team of satisfied employees who are committed to the company's success.

[About the Author: Joan Gurvis is the campus director of the CCL's Colorado Springs campus The Center for Creative Leadership is a global nonprofit institution focused exclusively on leadership education and research. She is co-author of Finding Your Balance, one in a series of CCL guidebooks containing practical tips on how to turn ideas into action.]
Hey friend, thanks for sharing the information and i read your article, it was really nice and also taught a lesson. Well, the balancing act is an activity that needs a gentle balance between distinct circumstances or needs. For more detailed information, please download my presentation.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf The Balancing Act.pdf (39.9 KB, 0 views)
Friends: (0)
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
act, balancing, gurvis, joan


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


ManagementParadise.com is not responsible for the views and opinion of the posters. The posters and only posters shall be liable for any copyright infringement.



Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.