Much of a company’s culture has to do with how those at the top behave, rather than what they say. Leaders can tell their teams to manage their wellness, but if leaders do not model this behavior, those who follow them won’t do it either. In this blog post, we’ll break down five ways leaders can improve work-life balance by modeling healthy behaviors for their teams.
Respect your employees’ time by guarding your own.
Telling employees to avoid checking work email or voicemail after hours does little if you’re always available yourself. Demonstrate that employees can walk away from the lines by making themselves unavailable for non-emergencies.
To get the team to log off after work, log off yourself.
Similarly, it’s tough to talk your team into logging off Slack or other messaging channels if they see you are constantly online. Make a habit of logging off all your work communications when you’re off work. If you’re not digitally present, your team won’t wear themselves out trying to be there too.
Don’t work – or expect work – during vacations.
When you go on vacation, set an out-of-office message. Tell your team they won’t be able to reach you in a non-emergency – so don’t try. Similarly, when your team members are on vacation, tell in-office staff to treat the person as if they are unavailable. And define “emergency” to include only true calamities such as a workplace fire.
Use vacation and sick time and demonstrate its value by returning with focus.
If you want your team to rest, demonstrate the value of rest. Take needed sick time and vacation time. During this time, avoid work, so that you return to the office fully present and focused. A team that sees the importance of needed rest is more likely to take advantage of available leave.
Meet your obligations, but deliver on your deadlines.
Model work-life balance by making room for family and personal obligations like doctor’s appointments and recitals – but don’t let these affect your ability to deliver on time. Provide tips for workers seeking to balance work and life obligations.