The Business Case for Work-life
Over the past two decades, Jacqueline has advised multiple companies on transformational organisational development, including how to incorporate work-life strategy in their overall HR plans. As a business owner and founder of a consultancy herself, she has first-hand experience of how career and personal life are closely integrated, and the skills that both employer and employee require to successfully manage these various aspects of life.
She observes that organisations that have successfully implemented work-life strategies for the long term share some notable common success factors.
“Clarity and consistency of practice ensures the sustainability of a work life strategy.”
The organisation’s leadership needs to be clear on the overall work-life philosophy and reasons for implementation. This can then be effectively articulated to all employees, setting the intended tone and culture for the organisation and reducing employee uncertainty and miscommunication.
Jacqueline also notes that in order for work-life initiatives to be effectively utilised, there needs to be clear guidelines and consistency in how these programmes are carried out, “the implementation (of the practice) should not be dependent on certain individuals or leaders in the organisation, but rather, all leaders must be aligned how the work-life strategy can be implemented consistently across the organisation.” Supervisors should also serve as the ambassadors of the overall work-life culture and should be empowered to address inconsistencies. She recommends that having feedback mechanisms in place will enable supervisors to address problems in implementation, in a timely manner.
Jacqueline emphasises that “work-life strategy is especially relevant in today’s workplaces”. Referring to FWAs, she shares that equipping employees with the skills and autonomy to work flexibly and in a manner that is most efficient for them, is valuable to the organisation in the long run. Citing the example of a client organisation, she shares that having the infrastructure, policies and culture for flexible working in place, meant that their workforce was able to quickly adapt to sudden business challenges and exigencies. Thus, Jacqueline believes that when employees are empowered for work-life success, the organisation benefits as well.