Work-Life Balance, a Metric Not to be Ignored

work life balanceWith the economy on the upward swing, employee retention has suddenly become a critical issue for many companies. All companies deal with turnover and most will measure this metric and compare themselves within their industry. The turnover rates can vary widely within each sector and what is acceptable for the Hospitality Industry at 30 – 40% would be considered a disaster scenario within the Manufacturing community. A more specific and telling metric is the percent of employees that quit within a specific industry. In November of 2013, the Hospitality Industry had a 3.9% ratio of employees quitting their jobs, compared to just a .9% ratio within the Manufacturing Industry.
What do these metrics mean in dollars? Studies have shown that the total cost of losing an employee can range from tens of thousands of dollars to 1–2x their annual salaries. So if your industry is filled with higher paying tech jobs like engineers, then there is little solace in having a lower quit percentage when these positions are costing you thousands of dollars to replace. The cost of retaining your work force can be substantially less than replacing quality employees and provide your business with other benefits of a seasoned work force.

  • Health Care
  • Child Care
  • Work-Life Balance
  • Telecommuting
  • Sabbaticals

These 5 employment benefits and perks resonated highly with employees in 2013, the same employees that you are trying to retain and attract.“Work-Life Balance” is trending upward and becoming more important to U.S. workers.

It’s hard to imagine an employee “perk” that is not in place somewhere, if you can think of it, it’s being done. This is one aspect of employee retention that can be impossible to keep up with the Jones’. Some companies like Google or Facebook are always going to set the bar out of reach for most companies. I’m not sure that all the perks that these companies tout work well enough to copy. Take your dog to work is just one. I love my dog, a golden but taking him to work would be a 120lb fiasco. Imagine a blonde haired Chatty Kathy doll with a tongue too big for his mouth and a desire just as big to meet everyone and you get the picture. In our work force culture, there are always going to be more companies that are laid back and have more capital to spend on “Work-Life Balance” employee benefits than you do. Basketball hoops and ping pong tables just might not physically fit in your company’s space or having employees work from home on Fridays just might not be possible with your corporate structure or the nature of your business.  This does not mean that you can’t become more appealing to new or retaining quality employees. There are a multitude of fun and interesting areas in the“Work-Life Balance”scene.

“Work-Life Balance” can be the most cost effective way in keeping and attracting quality employees. Take a closer look at your company’s vacation, sick and personal days. Pay close attention to the time that your employees spend on commuting and the traffic conditions that your work schedules put them in. Think about offering catered lunches, bike parking, casual attire and encouraging volunteering in the community.

As “Work-Life Balance” becomes a more important aspect of employment, it’s time to start putting into place the small things that will make being an employee of your firm a satisfying one. Satisfied and content employees are less likely to be swayed by other offers or to start looking for other employment. A “Work-Life Balance” structure can help keep those recruitment costs in check.