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The Mystery of Company Culture vs Work Life Balance.

Work / Life Balance – a different perspective

Lots has been done, and it’s still a hot topic, on the individual human perspective of Work-Life balance. I think there is huge value in this discussion, but I want to approach it from another angle.

I was mapping what I thought my own Work-Life balance should include, based on one current methodology. Physical, Emotional, … and then I went off the rails. Because I started thinking about the viewpoint of the company and how aligning the company’s Work-Life balance offering with the individual’s Work-Life balance requirements will make a huge difference in achieving that balance.

Question: How might you explain your company’s culture to potential new hires?

We’re a casual, fun-loving, team-oriented, success-driven, group of people who believe getting things done is just business as usual.

Instead of using the above catchy advertising slogan, how about using the option below?

At (insert company name), we focus on achieving the following balance:

Physical: We offer variable height workstations, an exercise area, an indoor or outdoor walking path and your physical safety is top priority. Employees are encouraged to utilize the allotted daily half-hour exercise time for physical and mental health.

Emotional: Though we can’t offer a stress-free environment, we have personnel trained to help employees manage stress. We prefer a calm workplace and support employee’s emotional health, whether their stress is caused by work or their individual personal situations.

Satisfaction: We encourage pride in your work and celebrate your successes. We like to challenge employees to take ownership of their tasks, and we support you with regular learning opportunities so you can grow professionally or personally. We never leave you unsupported.

Team Spirit: Your co-workers are not your competition. We support each other by coordinating our goals so everyone is pulling together. While working hard to succeed, laughter is part of our daily life. A smiling co-worker is an asset and very beneficial to the team.

Other companies try to hold you accountable. We make sure you have the tools and assistance to succeed. We expect you to hold yourself accountable.

If the balance we seek to provide aligns with the balance for which you strive, then let’s talk about a career path for you.

Why should you be expected to achieve a Work-Life balance all by yourself? Your company should also be a partner in this quest.

Companies have a clear understanding of the value proposition they hold for their customers. All the sales people clearly know how to approach their prospects and what stories to tell to get customers to commit to spending lots of money with them.

It seems apparent that companies could create the same “sales pitch” for prospective employees. Instead of using the interview process to explain about the details of the expected job performance, we can do better and also explain how we intend to keep good employees and create an environment that helps those employees continue to thrive and succeed, since surely the job tasks will change throughout their career.

If I’m a job seeker, fully self-aware of the Work-Life balance I seek, then I can match my desires with the culture or value statement of the company where I hope to build a long and successful career. And, the joy that I feel in my job satisfaction will make me an excellent company ambassador.

John Melbye, DDPP, DDLP, CSCP

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