5 Suggestions on Work-Life Balance

Many of us have vacation and time off scheduled throughout the holiday season.  Now as we enter into the mid-point of January, we strive to continue thinking about 2018 goals and objectives.  For many, finding the balance between our professional and personal commitments is an ongoing struggle. A few weeks ago, I discussed work-life balance in a leadership development training and reinforced the importance of prioritizing the balance.

Consider these 5 thoughts on work-life balance:

  1. Keep Non-Work Commitments: This is an important piece of prioritization and self-accountability.  Continue to keep non-work commitments and take the time to enjoy the events.  It is not always easy to do so.  However, it is necessary to avoid burnout from work and not enjoying friends, family, volunteering, etc.
  2. Take Vacation Time: Vacation is a perk that most organizations offer to employees.  It is there for a reason, to ensure all of us have time off and take the necessary time to refresh and reset from the stresses of work.  As leaders, we don’t always see the value in taking vacation or time off.  Set the example for your workforce and scheduled time off and avoid working during the vacation.  If possible, leave the electronics at home or avoid answering emails.  I’m the last person to give advice on this, but shutting it down is mentally refreshing.
  3. Learn to Shut It Off: This is reflecting the advice in thought #2, shut off the electronics but also shut down the thought(s) of work.  I know this isn’t easy for any of us to do. Leave work at work and focus on having fun and relaxing while you are on vacation or taking a few days off.
  4. Use Your Calendar: We all have hectic schedules, filled with meetings and commitments. Block time on your calendar to ensure you have the necessary work-life balance.  I have found in my schedule, if it is written down or on my calendar, the more likely I will commit to the balance.  Learning to prioritize plays a major role in blocking time and committing to the balance.
  5. Mental and Physical Fitness: Stress is all around us. Ensuring we are taking care of ourselves mentally and physically is necessary.  Schedule time to go to the gym, take a walk at lunch or meditate.  I workout early in the morning, I’ve found that it’s the best way to start the day.  When I don’t workout it does have an impact on my day.  Find the formula and routine that works for best for you.  Change is hard, but necessary.

As I explained to the the leadership group I met with those weeks ago; I am the last person that should be giving advice on work-life balance.  However, I recognize the importance of work-life balance and am making the necessary changes to ensure there is a balance and time to shut it down.  Commit to making the change(s) in 2018 and make it a priority.  Goal setting is a great start.  Let’s all meet our goals in 2018-one step at a time!

6 Suggestions on a Successful Holiday Party

As the holidays are quickly approaching, many organizations will be holding annual holiday parties for their workforce, vendors, and families.  As leaders, we need to ensure the holiday party is successful, safe, enjoyable and a memorable event for everyone.  Any company sponsored holiday parties are still work-related functions and policies are still in place.

Below are 6 suggestions on a successful holiday party:

  1. Voluntary Attendance: Make attendance at the party voluntary, and do not suggest that attendance will benefit a person’s standing within the company. Mandatory participation sets a negative tone for the event, and purpose for the celebration.
  2. Dress Code: Enforce the organizations dress code at the party and remind all employees prior to the event of the dress code and continued expectations of the organization.
  3. Harassment Policies: Remind employees that this is a company event and the policies and procedures about harassing behavior will be enforced.  This policy should also be communicated prior to all events.
  4. Alcohol: Limit the number of alcoholic drinks and/or the length of time during which alcoholic beverages will be served. Provide a variety of non-alcoholic alternatives and plenty of food.  Communicate expectations clearly to all employees to ensure no over indulgence in alcohol during the event.
  5. Smoking: Smoking is not permitted within the party site (in most buildings). Provide and communicate the designated smoking area(s) for smokers.
  6. Gift Giving: Ensure that you communicate gift giving expectations prior to the holiday event. “The organization may have lottery door prizes available and we do not encourage, but will permit gift giving at the party.  Gifts should not be obscene, offensive or of a sexually explicit nature.”[i]

These are just a few suggestions to ensure a successful, safe, memorable and enjoyable holiday party.  Proactive communication and planning will ensure the workforce, family members, friends, and vendors enjoy the event.  This is a time to celebrate and relax.  As leaders, we set the tone.  Proactively communicate expectations and thank everyone for a successful gathering.

[i] https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and-samples/hr-forms/pages/cms_020341.aspx