A constant theme from balanced employers is the critical relationship between Manager and employee to achieve work life balance. Leaders play an important role in the day-to-day direction of tasks, communication of company and team vision, training, guidance, performance management and so much more. They also have a critical part to play in the success of work life balance practices. Managers are at the forefront of implementing work life balance policies and/or have a heavily weighted or complete say whether work life balance requests are granted or not.
It is important to acknowledge that a Manager’s very own opinion of work life balance can dramatically impact the success of work life balance for his/her team. Should a leader not appreciate or respect the need for a balanced life, they may be less inclined to support and accept ad hoc or regular flexible requests. Furthermore, should a Manager not “walk the talk” and if they are one of those individuals that you wonder if they actually went home last night – they may just be creating an unspoken excessive work ethic that may start their team members to think:
- To get ahead or be promoted, you have to work long hours
- Work life balance is not really valued in my organisation
- My boss is never going to approve my flexible request if they’re doing the hours they’re doing
- Should I be putting in more hours to help my boss out?
- I’m never going to get out of here!