Investment in work-life balance misplaced

by 22 Jun 2010

Employers recognise the importance of work-life balance yet are failing to invest resources properly to improve it.

According to a new survey by WFD Consulting and Alliance for Work-Life Progress (AWLP) at WorldatWork, there is a steady commitment to work-life initiatives among senior management in a wide range of industries.

However, the State of Work-Life 2010 survey also found a mismatch between the most serious workforce issues identified by companies and where they are investing their resources.

When asked to identify the top two work-life issues facing their companies in 2010, employers most frequently cited stress/burnout, excessive workload, and employee engagement/commitment.

And while half of the companies in the study expect to address employee engagement/commitment, few seek to resolve the root causes of workload and stress/burnout, opting instead to address the symptoms of those problems with wellness/resilience/energy programs and flexibility policies. 

Interestingly, nearly half of the companies will address career management in 2010, yet only 15 percent viewed it as a serious issue.

Peter Linkow, president of WFD Consulting, said: “Of particular concern is that we seem to be committing the bulk of our resources in 2010 to areas we believe are less important.”

Kathie Lingle, executive director of Alliance for Work-Life Progress (AWLP), said: “There are a variety of explanations for this mismatch between needs and plans. One key possibility is that while many work-life professionals have a clear conception of the most serious organisational issues, they do not independently set the agenda for what actually gets addressed.”


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