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3 Tips for Improving Life Balance

3 Tips for Improving life balance

It’s pretty much a given fact that when you look around the office there’s always someone who seems calm, relaxed, good at what they do and has a keen sense of work life balance. For many of us we look at this person with a tinge of jealousy. At the same time there are others who can often be characterised as frantic. They’re in early, they beaver away for hours without coming up for air, and more often than not are the last to leave. It’s these people with whom we might often associate burnout.

Achieving life balance isn’t just about making staff happier and providing a better environment for work. Research from EY suggests that approximately a third of staff across the planet struggle to manage their work and personal lives effectively. It’s easy to see why, as a challenging external environment, with low wage rises means that for many working harder might be the badge of honour they need in order to be in line for that next promotion. However, in the States, research from the Corporate Executive Board shows that workers who believe they enjoy a healthy work/life balance work 21% harder than those who don’t.

Not only do performance levels improve in companies where work/life balance is important but so does staff engagement. By prioritising your work life balance both staff and managers stand to benefit. Here are some useful tips on where to start.

Make Your Rules Early

In the workplace people often find it difficult to alter a certain pattern of work once it has been established and others form expectations of you. For instance, if you are always first in work and last to leave, or always willing to take on extra projects, then colleagues may start expect this from you. Once you start to deviate from this example they may question why. You personally may be aware of this. Instead, set your stall early. Be at work on time, take your break allocation and go home at the end of the working day. If there is a culture for working overtime and taking time off in lieu then take your time off. This will help you maintain the balance as the role evolves.

Manage Your Communications

One of the biggest challenges for any employee these days comes from constant communication and being contactable 24/7. If this is a concern for you then don’t let it be. Once again manage the parameters early and stick to them. Only reply to emails during work hours and get into the habit of not replying straight away to emails that are not urgent. Be careful about which emails you respond to and which you don’t. Perhaps the best tip is to remember that emails are more likely to fill your inbox when you send them. If you don’t want your inbox filling up then be careful about filling your outbox.

Work Smarter

Not harder as they say. We all have colleagues who are perfectionists, that like to make sure they have every last detail correct, even if that means working until late to get the job done. When this becomes a habit it can have a serious impact on work/life balance. What are the expectations of the role? What are the expectations of the team? What needs to be done in order for you to be successful in your role? Take time to consider these things and how they fit into the role in the hours you work, instead of over delivering consistently with no greater reward.

Workplace well-being is vital for the success of your organisation. To find out more about well-being policies in the workplace contact us to discuss your requirements.

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Introducing Development Centres

Development centres

Organisations often confuse development centres and assessment centres thinking that they are one and the same. The truth is they are not, and whilst both play a vital role in a company’s people strategy the development centre is more concerned with just that…. Development. A development centre is designed to help specifically identified high potential staff members within the company to develop the competencies needed to drive the company in future.

Why Development Centres?

Development centres came to prominence off the back of assessment centres. In similarity to the assessment centre the development centre typically uses a form of observational assessment of an individual or group placed in real life scenarios. There may also be some form of psychometrics involved in the development centre. The key difference is that the outcomes are designed to support the competency development of key staff in order to align effectively with organisational goals, as opposed to supporting recruitment decisions.

What types of task take place?

Development centres focus on using simulations of real life scenarios to help candidates examine their ability to demonstrate a particular competency. Often the individual will be monitored by a member of staff who will provide objective feedback. In a development centre environment however candidates are encouraged to self-reflect on their performance, and are afforded a safe environment in which they can be honest with themselves about how they move forward with a particular competency.

An example might be a group task where an individual is being asked to lead a small group of staff. Following a task, the individual in question may be encouraged by an observer to reflect on their communication style, listening and delegation methodology. The observer plays the role in this scenario of a facilitator encouraging self-reflection rather than assessor giving performance feedback.

The benefits of development centres

As the name suggests development centres are about enhancing potential and equipping future seniors within the company with the skills and awareness to perform effectively in management roles. By implementing a culture of development within the organisation the company will benefit from enhanced engagement as staff feel supported on their learning journey. The competencies developed will help make the company more resilient to the commercial landscape in future years. With so many positive outcomes from such a strategy its worth looking at how your organisation could benefit from development centre learning.

If you want more support on how to start a development centre in your organisation, then contact us for more details.