It is very important that owners and managers of small meat processing plants not only have personal work-life balance but that they also cultivate organizational work-life balance for their employees. Employees who feel a sense of organizational work-life balance frequently have better relationships with management and fellow employees.
1. Clearly Communicate Company Benefits
In order for your employees to take advantage of their benefits they must know their benefits. Have an employee handbook. It is also critical to make sure your workplace culture encourages employees to take advantage of their benefits.
2. Have A Designated Break Area
There should be a designated area at your plant where employees can eat lunch and take breaks that is pleasantly decorated so that it makes people feel good when they walk into the room. Have some tables, comfortable chairs and a refrigerator. On a couple of designated days a week provide some complimentary healthy snacks. An enjoyable break reinvigorates people and makes them feel refreshed when they go back to work. This also makes employees feel like they are appreciated and valued by the company.
3. Have Company Meetings and Training Programs
Periodically (at least once a quarter) have a company meeting or a training program. Perhaps have a combined meeting. Discuss how the company is doing and future company plans. Hold short training programs that relate to employee’s jobs. You can discuss food safety issues, regulatory issues or share with your employee’s feedback you have received from customers. At these meetings ask for employee’s opinions on how things can be improved. If you don’t want to do this publicly, encourage employees to visit with you one on one. These meetings are also a good time to recognize employees for length of employment with the company. These meetings can make employees feel like they are genuinely part of the company.
4. Promote Exercise
Many companies incorporate exercise breaks into daily activities. A couple of short exercise breaks each day can help employees feel happier and calmer. Stretching exercises are particularly important. Regular exercise actually changes the brain, improving memory and thinking skills. You might offer discount rates at a local health club.
5. Maintain Structural Consistency
It is important to maintain a sense of consistency and organization in your company structure. Employees tend to feel less anxiety if they know what to expect on a day-to-day basis.
6. Encourage Vacations
Frequently in small companies people will want to work extra time rather than take a vacation in order to make a few extra dollars. Everyone needs a break. Encourage people to take their vacations.
7. Have Company Outings
An excellent way to boost employee morale and help workers get to know each other is to have an occasional company outing. When possible it is good to include employee’s families. Some companies have “Breakfast Club” programs where once or twice a month employees take turns bringing their favorite breakfast foods (homemade or store bought) to share with co-workers.
Employee organizational work-life balance can have several benefits:
- A happier, less stressed work force
- Decreased absenteeism
- Improved employee health and well-being
- A more positive perception of you as an employer
- Decreased employee turnover
Remember: Happy employees contribute significantly to the success of a company.