Is There A Doctor In The House?


Organizational life balance is an exceptionally delicate living organism. It is a complex equation with infinite number of variables which constantly change. Within it are individuals who find themselves in a perpetual dance with diametrically opposing forces while seeking to maintain equilibrium in the face of fluctuating conditions. Much like the human body deserving of constant attention to maintain homeostasis so does the organization which should be viewed in the same manner.

Extrapolated further it leads us to a simple rule - every factor influencing the individual thereby influences the organization. And there are a lot of factors. Here are some in no particular order which affect Life Balance:

• Sleeping patterns
• Food intake
• Hours worked
• Commute
• Company worked for
• Team dynamic
• Organizational political atmosphere
• Management
• Salary
• Bonus
• Benefits
• Recognition
• Communication
• Flexibility
• Job satisfaction
• Overall career satisfaction
• Family dynamic
• Friends and what they are doing in life
• Overall Health
• Age
• Belief System
• Ability to grow as a person
• Ability to grow in career
• Feeling appreciated
• Sense of pride
• Sense of belonging
• Sense of accomplishment
• Support structure

Add to it what is currently happening in our society and people's attitudes about it, marry that with ethnicity, cultural heritage, political and religious beliefs and you have an idea of why Organizational Life Balance is so delicate.

To identify issues the organization should pay attention to the symptoms. When it's out of balance the following occurs which ultimately costs US companies Billions of dollars per year:

• Employee stress goes up
• Productivity goes down
• Job satisfaction decreases
• Absenteeism goes up
• Health declines
• Medical expenses rise
• Turnover rates increases

All of which starts the snowball of employees leaving the organization taking with them business and tribal knowledge while at the same time putting more stress on the remaining team members. That forces the company to spend time and money to find, hire and train the new individuals. The company image will also take a hit as those leaving don't speak highly about it thereby making it more difficult for the organization to attract talent.

But once symptoms start, what is the remedy? The answer lies in a familiar concept albeit with a different application. We need a Doctor in the house! Organizations should have a department solely dedicated to keeping it healthy.

I am not referring simply to wellness programs. Those are hard to execute when pizza is in the meetings and candy bowls are prevalent. Telling someone that sleeping lowers stress while they are awaken at night by production issues is not going to work. We need to go beyond lower premiums for good blood test results. We need to take a holistic view. And here is some of what the doctor and a new department will do:

• Lifestyle modification programs
• Restricting work hours
• Career satisfaction and realignment allowing employees to be in the proper positions
• Compensation, recognition and communication initiatives
• Employee training & development programs
• Emotional Intelligence education
• Individual, Executive & Group Life Coaching
• Conflict management
• Team bonding activities
• Workplace culture assessments
• Flexible scheduling improvements
• Meditation at work initiatives
• Quiet & Resting space creation
• Employee engagement assessments
• Company outings and events

When looked at holistically, consistently, and with proper support from the top of the Organization, life balance can be achieved and maintained for its employees. The company's ROI on the new department will be measurable and almost immediate as it will be able to save millions in lost productivity, medical and turnover costs. The moral will go up, customer service will improve and new talent will cost less to attract.

Life balance initiatives are not a nice to have but a must! So, the only question left to ask at your company is - "Is there a Doctor in your house?"