Work-Life Practices

Report
Research Findings
HRANS-PEI Luncheon Presentation
November 18,2010
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Introductions:
 Before beginning your meal, take a moment
 Each person at the table should select an item from the
bag/box at the centre of the table
 Share with your tablemates how the item relates to
work-life balance
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Work & Eat
 At your table setting is an article from the Globe &
Mail’s recent series on Work Life Balance. While you
enjoy your meal, please take a moment to review the
article and discuss with your table mates:
 What was interesting to you?
 Did it surprise you? Why?/Why not?
 Other tables will have different articles, what one or two
points can your group agree are points that need to be
shared and discussed further.
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What is Work Life Balance?
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What is Work Life Balance?
 Arising from job satisfaction research
 The appropriate weighting of both intrinsic (work
characteristics) and extrinsic (social and cultural norms)
factors to maximize job satisfaction (Farnaz Namin-Hedayati Ph.D)
 The proper prioritizing between work/ career/
ambition and life/ pleasure/ leisure/ family/ spiritual
development (Netemeyer et al. )
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Work Life Balance is NOT…
 … Life Balance: The combination of factors necessary
for any individual to determine that their life is
balanced is difficult to generalize.
 … An equal balance in units of time between work and
other life activities or endeavours.
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The Short Answer…
 Work-life balance policies do have an impact on
organizational commitment
 Existence v. Execution
 Application to bargained programs
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Effects: Profitability & Productivity
 A significant positive relationship between the number
of work-life balance practices offered and firm
profitability as a measure of productivity
 This relationship was stronger in firms employing high
numbers of women.
 A study of 732 medium-sized firms in the US, UK,
France and Germany showed that
 those with better management practices had more
work-life balance practices and
 this was associated with higher productivity.
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Productivity?
 In a longitudinal investigation of Canadian employees,
greater use of work-life balance practices was a
predictor of higher wages and an increased number of
promotions over time*
* after the effects of control variables had been accounted for.
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Effects: Recruitment & Retention
 Professionals are looking at WLB policies was a top
consideration in choosing their firm
 Flextime provided a significant saving ($180,000) in
turnover costs
 A longitudinal investigation of Canadian employees
demonstrated that greater use of work-life balance
practices was related to decreased turnover intentions
over time.
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Practice: Flex Time
 A positive or very positive impact on
 quality of work;
 productivity; and
 retention.
 Flextime has been found to result in
 improvements in the actual productivity and
performance of individual employees;
 Improved individual productivity, but not to self-rated
performance; and
 better team performance.
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Flex time & People
 Among professionals, workplace flexibility ranks as
the most important retention tool ahead of salaries or
stock options.
 Satisfaction with the flexibility of job scheduling was
associated with lower turnover among parents.
 Access to flexible scheduling practices was predictive
of lower turnover intentions more for men than for
women
 One study indicated that there is a wage premium of
6%-11% for work-life balance practices such as flextime
or being able to work from a flexible location (stronger
for women than men).
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Practice: Compressed Work Weeks
 No effect on absenteeism or on objective indicators
of productivity;
 Supervisor’s subjective ratings of employee
performance were higher for employees on
compressed work week schedules.
 There may be a temporal factor: in one study
performance increased in the first year after a
compressed work week schedule was introduced, the
effect disappeared after two years had passed.
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Practice: Part-time/Reduced Load
 Supervisors of reduced load employees (managerial
and professional) believed that offering this option
had enhanced recruitment and retention, particularly
in regard to preventing the departure of mothers after
childbirth.
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Practice: Flexplace/Telecommuting
 Two-thirds of companies believe telecommuting has
led to greater productivity, lower costs and better
recruiting and retention.
 60% reported cost savings
 Nearly 40% of companies believe they have access to
more qualified staff as a result of their telework
program
 37% said telecommuting helped improve employee
retention
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Flex place & retention
 The ability to telework on a flexible schedule was
considered an important aspect for employees
considering choosing a new employer.
 Retention is higher when mothers are allowed to work
at home after childbirth.
 One study found that the non-teleworking coworkers
of employees who frequently telecommuted, were
highly dissatisfied with their telecommuting
colleagues and reported higher intentions of leaving
their organizations as a result.
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Practice: Child Care
 Positive impacts on recruitment and retention
 More recommendations by employees to others,
resulting in a recruitment advantage
 Reduced turnover
 A positive impact on beliefs about productivity (not
related to managers’ assessments of users’
productivity)
 Although use of on-site child care was related to
ability to work overtime, it did not result in
improved productivity.
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Upshot
 Results of work life policies vary widely suggesting
 A single policy, in the absence of other supporting
policies and organizational values, is unlikely to result in
significant or sustainable improvement of any business
metric
 The execution of the policy is key to its success
 The greater control the organization can provide to
employees with respect to how they get their work done,
the greater the impact of the policies
 Equities between those who are able to access WLB
practices and those who do not need to be carefully
considered
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Whose life is it anyway?
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More Research Please
 Work Life Balance has an impact on more than just
 Being an employer of choice
 Productivity
 Recruitment and retention
 It is a key element to a psychologically healthy
workplace which in turn effects all of the above plus
attendance, health and benefits claims, LTD
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Survey
 For those who have yet to complete the survey, please
go to
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JCPJLMQ
Or complete a hard copy of the survey available at the
registration desk and leave for Constance to input.
©2010 HR Associates Inc - All rights reserved.
Word from the Weiss (Alan Weiss)
Balancing Act ©
 Talent fulfillment
 Object of interest
 Time control:
 Passion:
http://www.summitconsulting.com/balancing-act/may-2002.php
©2010 HR Associates Inc - All rights reserved.
Word from the Weiss (Alan Weiss)
Balancing Act ©
 … if you are challenged, sought by others,
controlling your time, and passionate about
people and pursuits, I would suggest, upon
examination, you lead a life highly worth
living.
http://www.summitconsulting.com/balancing-act/may-2002.php
©2010 HR Associates Inc - All rights reserved.
Additional Sources
 http://www.caall-acalo.org/docs/Cost



Benefit%20Review.pdf
http://www.worklifecanada.ca/page.php
http://www.uoguelph.ca/cfww/stress/
http://www.guardingmindsatwork.ca/info/index
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/time-tolead/work-lifebalance/?utm_campaign=Big%208&utm_medium=Search
%20Engine%3A%20Paid&utm_source=Google&utm_conte
nt=Big%208%20Work%20Life%20Balance&utm_keyword=
life%20and%20work%20balance&gclid=CPzT0cHGmaUCF
eMD3AodSWCzNg
©2010 HR Associates Inc - All rights reserved.

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