Gallup: Do Your Managers Know How to Improve Work-Life Balance?

08 Oct 2019
Flextime is great but not always an option, while realistic work expectations have far-reaching benefits.

Originally found at Gallup Workplace, by Emily Wetherell and Nate Dvorak

Work-life balance matters to your employees.

In the U.S., women and millennials in particular say that they seek companies with flexible policies when looking for a new job because work-life balance is so important to them. Many organizations have responded by offering flexible work arrangements, alternative work schedules and remote work options.

However, not every job can be flexible — you can’t tend to a hospital patient remotely or run a manufacturing line from a coffee shop — and maintaining a culture that supports flexible work arrangements isn’t always easy.

The good news: Gallup’s data show that having realistic performance goals is actually a better predictor of work-life balance than having flexible work arrangements. Further, among full-time U.S. employees, workers who strongly agree that they have realistic performance goals are 2.4 times more likely to also strongly agree that they have a healthy work-life balance....

The Benefits of Realistic Goals

Setting realistic goals with employees can also help prevent some negative behaviors that may affect the organization's bottom line and brand reputation.

Too much pressure, unclear expectations and unfair consequences can incentivize unethical behavior -- lying and cheating, for example. In fact, an Academy of Management Perspectives article, Goals Gone Wild: The Systematic Side Effects of Overprescribing Goal Setting, states that "managers and scholars need to conceptualize goal setting as a prescription-strength medication that requires careful dosing, consideration of harmful side effects and close supervision."

Continue reading this article at Gallup Workplace.

Read the original research in Academy of Management Perspectives

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