The Supervisor's Role in Creating a Positive Work-Life Balance

The Supervisor's Role in Creating a Positive Work-Life Balance

Many employees experience the strain that comes with trying to achieve a balance between their personal and professional lives. Supervisors who learn how to empower their employees with quality personal time and a more manageable workload will create a healthy, positive culture in the workplace. As a supervisor, what can you do to help your employees strike a healthy work-life balance? In this blog, we discuss six ways supervisors can help their employees maintain a healthy balance between their personal and professional lives:


1. Conduct a Work-Life Balance Survey

One of the most effective ways to promote positive work-life balance is to conduct a survey. A survey allows supervisors to gain a more accurate understanding of what their employees need. The truth is while you may have an idea about what a healthy work-life balance looks like, this may or may not align with what your employees truly need. 

A survey gives valuable first-hand data about how your employees feel. For example, you should ask questions regarding average work hours, considerations for working parents, and flexible scheduling to name a few. The goal is to help you identify critical areas of opportunity for improving the work-life balance of your employees.


2. Avoid Employee Burnout

Employee burnout is more common than many supervisors realize. Burnout not only hurts your employees but also decreases productivity. When your employees start skipping lunch breaks, working excessive hours, and spending more personal time on work, it will eventually take its toll. 

When your employees are experiencing too much stress and become burned out, they are more likely to experience accidents and injuries on the job. Moreover, there are higher rates of sick days due to burnout-related health problems. As a supervisor, fighting burnout will pay dividends for your company. A positive work-life balance leads to higher retention rates and employees who are more invested in their work.


3. Teach Employees about Work-Life Balance

Many supervisors incorporate education as a helpful way to boost the positive effects of work-life balance. For example, as a supervisor, you can hold a seminar to help your employees understand that their needs as human beings matter to the company just as much as job performance. In addition, your employees will receive valuable tips to improve their quality of life and permission to speak up when they're feeling burned out. 

As a supervisor, encourage your employees to be honest with you if they're feeling overwhelmed. It would help if you clarified that their honesty would not adversely affect their career advancement opportunities. Let your employees know they should leave work at the end of their shift, use their lunch breaks, and establish boundaries on work hours if they're remote workers.


4. Leverage the Power of Flextime

Another highly effective method that supervisors can use to promote a positive culture of work-life balance is to offer the option of flexible work schedules. Flexible scheduling allows employees to work with you as a partner to determine the best balance for their unique personal demands. In many cases, there are more options for flextime schedules than supervisors may realize. For example, you can set an hourly requirement per week but allow your employees to decide when to work those hours. Alternatively, some supervisors base benchmarks on the amount of work completed rather than the hours worked. This flextime model can be beneficial for parents trying to juggle work and family life. 


5. Promote Physical Fitness for Overall Wellbeing

Exercise and fitness are great ways employees can boost their physical and mental health. You can sponsor employee fitness activities, including power-walking breaks, office yoga, and more. Additionally, some supervisors promote healthy work-life balance with company-sponsored sports teams that coordinate leisure, family time, and exercise all rolled into one. Moreover, many supervisors seek approval from executive leadership to provide employees with company discounts on gym or fitness center memberships. These fitness and wellness activities will positively impact the work-life balance of your employees.


6. Lead by Example

Last but certainly not least, supervisors should lead by example. Your employees should see you living by a reasonable work schedule. As your employees observe your healthy balance between work and personal time, they will naturally feel more comfortable and confident that you're promoting a healthy culture in the workplace.

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About the Author

As Director of AEU LEAD, Joe White focuses on helping members transform operational goals into actionable plans through a structured change management process. Prior to joining AEU, Joe was a senior consultant for E.I. DuPont’s consulting division, DuPont Sustainable Solutions (DSS). He joined DSS in 2011 to develop the next generation of safety practices using extensive research in behavioral sciences he’s compiled over a period of nearly two decades. His efforts resulted in the development of The Risk Factor, which is now the flagship instructor-led offering for the consulting division. Combined, Joe has 26 years of operational safety experience, the majority of which was with DuPont. Joe has been published in Occupational Health & Safety Magazine for his prominent work in safety relative to behavioral and neurosciences and is an event speaker at many leading industry conferences including National Safety Council (NSC) Congress and Expos, American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), and National Maritime Safety Association (NMSA). Joe is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and has a B.S., in Safety and Risk Administration.

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