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April 2013

Turnover Problems? Consider Work-Life Balance

If you have a problem with work-life balance, you likely also have a problem with potential turnover at your organization. This according to recent research from Hay group, which reveals that more than a quarter (27 percent) of employees at organizations that are not perceived to support work-life balance plan to leave their companies within the next two years.

This is compared with only 17 percent of those at companies that ranked among the top quartile for support of employees in achieving a reasonable balance between work and personal life. For an organization with 10,000 employees, a 10 percentage point reduction in turnover over two years would result in savings of $17.5 million (assuming an average salary of $35,000 and an average replacement cost of 50 percent of salary).

At the same time, work-life balance concerns around the world are on the rise, with 39 percent of employees in Hay Group Insight's 2012 normative data indicating that they did not have a "good balance" between work and personal life, compared with only 32 percent who reported the same in 2011. Concerns also persist about the number of workers available to complete the work required, with the majority of employees (52 percent) reporting that there are not enough people to do the work in their area.

"Organizations across the globe continue to ask their employees to 'do more with less,' leading to increasing dissatisfaction with work-life balance," said Mark Royal, senior principal at Hay Group Insight. "Tactical solutions like telecommuting options or flexible work schedules will not be enough to successfully address these mounting concerns. Organizations must also focus on long-term solutions to work-life balance issues by helping employees work more productively and identifying opportunities to begin rebuilding their workforces. By providing enabling work environments and additional people resources, organizations can help employees accomplish work tasks as efficiently as possible, leaving more time to attend to personal responsibilities and garnering higher levels of organizational loyalty."

Hay Group Insight's research also found that employees who perceived work-life balance support from their organizations reported greater confidence in their companies' ability to recruit top talent and more satisfaction with their compensation. Specifically, perceived support for work-life balance led to:

  • Increased Confidence in Ability to Recruit Top Talent: When employees were asked about "the ability of the company to attract high-quality employees," 71 percent of those from leading organizations for work-life balance provided ratings of "good" or "very good," compared to only 45 percent of employees in laggard organizations for work-life balance.
  • Higher Satisfaction with Compensation: Among leading organizations for work-life balance, 58 percent of employees agreed with the statement, "I believe I am paid fairly for the work I do." That's compared to only 36 percent of employees in organizations ranked in the bottom quartile for work-life balance.

"Employees are working longer hours with more erratic schedules than ever before," Royal added. "To address work-life balance issues and lessen the workloads of top employees, organizations need to develop fundamental solutions to enable their current workforces and think strategically about which key roles need to be supplemented from the outside. Those that don't may see their high-performing and high-potential employees either burn out or walk out."

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