How to Keep Your Employees Happy and Motivated (Hint: It’s Not Always Money)

Beth Miller |

An important component of talent management is retaining your top employees. And when workers become unhappy or overly stressed, leaders are at risk of losing them.

So how can you retain good employees? Developing and maintaining a work-life balance as part of your company culture is one way to increase employee retention.

For every person, achieving a balance is different – because everyone has a unique of tasks and responsibilities, from taking the kids to school to working out and exercising, that they need to do, along with fulfilling their work responsibilities.

While most of the workforce still considers this an important issue, employees’ work-life balance is drops in importance to leaders during difficult economic times, when they often feel a need to focus on more important issues.

Various research demonstrates a correlation between good work performance and good work-life balance. Overall, the more flexible your company is with employees’ time, the happier and more productive your employees will be.  So what are some things you can be doing to help your employees have a more balanced life? Below are some suggestions:

  • Remember that work-life balance doesn’t always mean working less.
  • Money isn’t the only thing that matters.
  • Insist that employees take their vacation.
  • Develop a work-from-home or telecommuting policy.
  • Offer your employees the ability to work flexible hours.
  • Allow time off when important issues arise.
  • Provide membership discounts to facilities and associations focused on healthy living.
  • Allow employees to move from full-time to part-time while remaining in the same position.
  • Give people the opportunity to share a job.
  • Make sure all employees are aware of work-life programs.

Encouraging a positive work culture

Bonuses, extra time off and other perks aren’t always options. But creating a positive work environment can be a contributing factor to work-life balance. “Only 25 percent of job successes are predicted by IQ. Seventy-five percent of job successes are predicted by optimism levels, social support, and the ability to see stress as a challenge instead of as a threat,” research shows.

Making recognition and development key elements of your management and company culture help to enhance work-life balance.

Work-life balance doesn’t always matter

For some companies and people, work-life balance may not be as important as others. Here are two examples where balance is not part of the culture and employee retention is not affected:

  1. Apple is a company with a unique culture. But, as an ere.net article points out, they do not mention the word balance anywhere. They make it clear that they are looking for extremely hard-working and committed individuals.
  2. Entrepreneurs, as discussed in this Harvard Business Review article, don’t need a work-life balance. They are all-in, all the time.

The reason a balance isn’t needed in both of these situations is because of passion. People are so passionate about what they do that they are willing to make sacrifices to do good work.  

If your company doesn’t fit into one of the above categories, what steps can you take to create a environment that promotes work-life balance and happy employees?

For more information on talent management, check out my post about why integrated talent management matters. 

Photo Credit:  winnifredxoxo

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Beth Miller

Beth Miller

Beth Armknecht Miller’s passion for learning, and dedication to helping others, are strands woven throughout her distinguished career, which continue to guide her work with Executive Velocity, a top talent and leadership development advisory firm. As a trusted executive consultant, Vistage Chair, and committed volunteer, Beth holds herself to a rigorous standard of excellence, and she encourages her clients to do the same when pursuing their goals.

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