Back in March, we attended the MAPS Conference in Nashville. It was a fantastic opportunity to share ideas and best practices (see additional key takeaways here). During one session that was focused on employee retention and job satisfaction, I sat at a table with several team leaders, and it was great to hear their perspectives firsthand.

While we were discussing their issues with having remote or hybrid teams and how to avoid burnout, one thing that came up was work-life balance. I shared an idea that one of our clients has implemented, which is a little different. Instead of work-life balance, they aim for more of a work-life integration. This isn’t a completely brand-new idea, but it is a different approach and one they have seen great success with.

The idea with work-life integration is that you establish a company culture of accountability and responsibility. Expectations are clearly communicated, and everyone is on board for the common goal the company is working toward, so there’s a very strong team/collaborative component as well.

The key to success with this model is hiring someone with a strong sense of accountability who can effectively prioritize and follow through, and who doesn’t require micromanagement. Since expectations will be clearly communicated, the employee understands what the goals are, and knows what they’re responsible for. This allows them to have the flexibility to integrate “life” into the typical workday hours, and then come back to get their to-do list done.

For example, if your kid has a school function you’d love to attend during the day, you could take some time to do that (without feeling guilty or like you need to sneak around). If you know you have a time-sensitive deliverable, come back to it when you get home to get it done.  This flexibility creates trust and appreciation between employees and employers, which is crucial for retaining talent long-term. 

Since the pandemic started, we hear more and more from candidates that flexibility and work-life balance is increasingly important when they are considering making a job change.  By creating a trusting environment where you can rely on your teammates, you can help to avoid burnout and increase employee happiness and fulfillment. Empower your team by giving them the flexibility to make the decision on how to best manage their time for both home and work obligations.

Please share your thoughts on this, or if there are other methods you’ve heard of or experienced that have helped create a fulfilling work-life dynamic!

Looking forward to hearing from y’all,