New technologies, like smartphones and digital communication, have blurred the line between work and home. Employees can get work emails on their phones at any time of day (or night.)
The downside to this is that this can be highly distracting and can take away from family time.
And flex hours and work-from-home arrangements make the distinction between work and family even more confusing.
Finding Life Balance
The best way to help your employees find overarching life balance is not to reject technology but to welcome employees’ loved ones into your company culture.
You will blur those lines even further, letting family life bleed into work life, developing a business that can help families, rather than strain them. This is not only the right thing to do, but it’s also good for business.
How Families Improve the Bottom-Line
For many people, relationships built in the office represent not only their work life but their social life as well. As adults, we meet people through work the same way we met friends through school as kids.
Nurturing this sense of community engages employees and builds loyalty, both of which help the bottom‑line.
1. Build Loyalty
When employees enjoy a positive work environment (feel valued, develop friendships with co-workers, etc.), they want to keep working for that company. If family members are also happy with an employee’s work situation, that employee is even more likely to stay.
Higher employee retention saves companies and organizations a lot of money.
- The cost of losing someone in the first 90 days can be about $5,000.
- For those who stay longer, the cost of losing an hourly employee is around 50% of his annual salary.
- The cost of losing a salaried employee can be 100 to 150 percent of his salary.
- Some estimates show that losing an executive can cost a company up to 213 percent of the executive’s salary.
These losses include the cost to terminate, cost to rehire, training costs, vacancy costs, etc. It’s estimated that engaged employees are four times less likely to leave their positions than disengaged employees. This can have a major impact on the bottom-line.
2. Enhance the Circle of Growth
This is a simple philosophy that begins with engaged employees.
- Engaged employees drive customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- Happy employees make happy customers.
- Customer satisfaction then drives profit through greater customer retention.
You can take that profit and invest it back into your people, giving them better tools and resources to do their jobs.
And the cycle continues…
Employee Engagement Reaches the Bottom‑Line
There is also increasing evidence that engagement directly impacts the bottom-line. At Stericycle, a study of nearly 50 small call centers showed that those with the highest level of engagement had a gross profit margin 10% higher than those with low engagement.
How do you increase employee engagement and get the cycle going? Reach out to families.
Expanding the Circle to Families
There are countless ways to expand your culture to include employees’ family members, but here are some ideas to get you started.
Hold company events that include families. You can have a carnival in the parking lot, a cookout with games and contests for all ages, or holiday parties (Halloween is great for involving kids).
Send notes to the homes of employees, both for them and their family members. Simply acknowledging life events like births, deaths, injuries, or major accomplishments can help everyone feel more connected.
Send a magazine that’s mailed to employees’ homes quarterly. It should have pictures and articles that allow families to see what their loved ones are doing while they’re away at work, and it includes a coloring section for young kids.
Contests and Scholarships:
If you make company or event T-shirts, create a contest for employees’ kids to design them. It’s also a wonderful idea to create a scholarship program to help even one employee’s child each year with college tuition.
Programs like this don’t affect employees directly, but caring about their kids can mean even more to parents than rewarding them in the office.
Leading with True Influence
When you hire someone, you affect his entire life, including his loved ones. That means that you, as a leader, have the ability to impact not only your immediate circle of employees but entire families and communities.
If you use that power to do good, your business will certainly grow.
More importantly, you’ll help people and even change lives.
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Paul Spiegelman is the Chief Culture Officer at Stericycle
He is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence for Office Depot’s SmallBizClub.com
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