Work-Life Excellence: The Competitive Edge for Future-Ready Companies
Blog | Building Culture | July 24, 2015
Work-life excellence has become a buzzword in workplaces, and rightly so.
“Work-life harmony is a win-win solution for both organizations and employees alike,” Jeanne Chung, Managing Director of SP Services, attests in the Tripartite Committee on Work-Life Strategy 2014 awards. Jeanne is a recipient of the Work-Life Excellence Leadership Award.
Not to be confused with work-life separation, work life-excellence is about creating an environment that supports people and allows them to thrive in work, at home, and other areas they are passionate about whether it be sports, music, or outreach. Work-life excellence is a picture of harmony and flexibility. It is a picture of a progressive workplace that is future-ready, not just in terms of fostering high performance cultur, but because they deeply value the core of a company—its people.
Companies that value work-life excellence have a competitive edge in today’s marketplace, and here’s why:
1. Highly engaged employees translate to improved business performance
Kevin Wo, winner of the 2014 Work-life Excellence Award, Senior Vice President & General Manager ASEAN, of Avanade Asia Pte Ltd, shared that implementing work-life strategies at Avanade resulted in increased employee engagement scores, which corresponded to a sharp increase in operating profits and revenue growth.
2. Company culture is a key factor in attracting and retaining talent
Alexandra Hospital staff have much to boast about aside from delivering great service. “There is genuine harmony within the department; highly respected yet approachable consultants and a fantastic teaching culture.” says Dr. Toon Dong Hao, Medical Officer, Orthopaedic Surgery. The hospital introduced more flexibility and support for personal and career aspirations, and this work-life strategy has helped attract and retain employees.
Sheraton Hotel believes that “the team that plays together stays together,” and the culture of playing together has contributed to employee retention. “The hotel has created various opportunities for associates to mingle and bond as a closely-knit family. Even as we learn more about our colleagues through sports and other activities, we grow to respect one another and collaborate more at work,” says Khairul-Ariffin Bin Tahir, Sheraton Hotel’s Security Supervisor.
3. Greater flexibility means greater possibilities
Work-life excellence also addresses work that can be particularly demanding. Tate Anzur is a PR firm with heavy workload and irregular schedules. Their work-life excellence program focuses on flexibility, giving staff the freedom to schedule their time in a way that allows them to work at their best. The staff create their own customized work-life plan, as the company is open to new ways of working. They realize that staff themselves can plan for greater effectiveness and maximize their resources, creativity, and efficiency as they take ownership of their own productivity. Being flexible, especially in a creative or media industry, also opens more possibilities, as staff have greater opportunity to perform well and take their work to new heights.
4. Protecting what is important to employees and staff protects the company
Respecting personal life inspires loyalty and motivates people. And when the family is thriving, people are able to serve with all their heart. Tracey Chai, Senior Patissier of Sheraton Hotel shares that “as the hotel makes it a priority to take care of my personal and family well-being, I can concentrate better at work and have greater commitment towards achieving the organization’s objectives.”
SP Services is also very supportive of its staff’s personal and family commitments, resulting in stronger commitment and passion for work. They have reported a higher productivity rate and lower absenteeism.
5. Work-life harmony promotes the well-being of staff
A well-rested staff member is naturally more engaged at work and performs better than someone who is always exhausted. The health and well-being of staff is essential to long-term success. The sustainable organizational practices of work-life excellence put a premium on staff’s health and well-being, which protects each company’s most important asset—its people.
ROHEI values the staff’s inner well-being aside from the physical. ROHEI’s weekly staff discipleship sessions are the equivalent of personal work-life talks. Examples of topics covered are Parenting and Living a Purposeful Life. The sessions are recorded to enable staff members who miss a session to also benefit from the sharing/talks at their own time.
6. Communication builds trust
Work-life excellence companies put a big premium on communication and building trust. A culture of transparency and trust creates healthy relationships and works against grievances, offenses, and office politics. When teams are free of such issues, the staff are able to focus on the right things.
ROHEI has an open-door policy in which staff are always welcome to discuss-work-life matters. We also have a monthly staff communication session to update and engage our staff. We also consider everyday an open house—staff can bring their family, their children; we want families to have good memories of our place.
7. Work-life excellence companies are more responsive to change and better prepared to handle the challenges of the future.
Work life excellence prepares us for the future and ensures that we adapt to the changing times. Jacinta Lin of West Spring Primary School believes in working smart to adjust to staff needs. She encourages the school’s middle managers to “challenge old ways of working, such as reviewing how departmental programmes were being conducted to avoid encroaching on weeknights and weekends.” By thinking differently, companies can achieve work-life excellence while even increasing efficiency and harmony in the organization.
Encouraging new ways of thinking and working, work-life excellence shifts the focus of employee performance, process, and profits toward people. “This may be perceived as counterproductive, but what really happens is when the focus is on the people, performance rises, people are inspired, fulfilled. And people are the core of every company,” says Rachel Ong, our Chief Executive at ROHEI.
And what better way to prepare for the future than by nurturing the workforce. Work-life excellence is not just a competitive edge for progressive companies. All about people, work-life excellence creates a lasting foundation for progress and success.
Quotes and information above are taken from the Tripartite Committee on Work-Life Strategy’s 2014 award book. ROHEI is a recipient of the 2014 Work-Life Excellence Award, a biennial award celebrating outstanding individuals and organizations who champion work-life harmony.
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