In today's fast-paced world, achieving a harmonious work-life balance can seem like an elusive goal. At Plante Moran, the emphasis is on the hybrid work model, ensuring that employees don't have to choose between quality time at work and home. Recognizing that work-life balance is a deeply personal matter, Plante Moran has introduced a plethora of supports to help staff find the right equilibrium within this hybrid work model. But a pressing question remains: how can managers support employee wellbeing effectively?
1. Understand the Evolving Nature of the Hybrid Work Model
Work-life balance isn't static. Since the pandemic, the definition of balance has shifted, encompassing physical, emotional, mental, and financial well-being. Managers must be vigilant and recognize employee burnout signs, such as elevated stress levels, changes in sleep patterns, and irritability. For a deeper dive into supporting someone experiencing burnout, you might want to explore how to help someone with burnout and understand work boundaries. For more insights on this evolving nature, consider reading about EisnerAmper's approach to healthy work-life boundaries.
2. Leverage the Balance Fund within the Hybrid Work Model
Plante Moran introduced the "Balance Fund," a flexible benefit plan that reimburses staff for up to 50% of expenses that contribute to their work-life balance. Whether it's hiring a babysitter for a night out, subscribing to a meditation app, or even having groceries delivered, the Balance Fund recognizes that everyone's idea of balance is unique. This initiative is a prime example of how managers can support employee wellbeing by recognizing and catering to individual needs.
3. Adopt the "Workplace for Your Day" Approach in the Hybrid Work Model
The firm's approach, termed "Workplace for Your Day" (WFYD), is a cornerstone of its hybrid work model. Managers play a pivotal role here, ensuring that the team's work environment is supportive and positive, fostering employee wellbeing. While in-person connections remain vital, it's no longer necessary for staff to be in the office five days a week. Staff are encouraged to collaborate with their teams and decide the best structure for their workdays, blending in-person and remote work.
4. Seek Support and Guidance in the Hybrid Work Model
Frank Moran, the co-founder, believed that "The whole person comes to work". This philosophy is deeply ingrained in Plante Moran's culture. The firm has a dedicated WorkFlex Committee that serves as a resource for staff, offering guidance and bringing forward suggestions to the management team to ensure everyone's balance needs are met within the hybrid work model. Managers, understanding their role in supporting employee wellbeing, can actively engage with their teams, promoting a healthy work-life balance and reducing stress. Additionally, strategies for preventing employee burnout can be a valuable resource in this journey.
5. Utilize Flexible Time Off in the Hybrid Work Model
Plante Moran's Flexible Time Off (FTO) policy allows staff to take time off as needed without the constraints of a traditional PTO bank. Managers can further support employee wellbeing by respecting this flexibility and ensuring that team members feel comfortable taking the time they need.
6. Benefit from Enhanced Parental Leave
The firm's leave of absence policy includes a six-week paid parental leave for all new parents. This is in addition to the six to eight weeks of short-term disability benefits provided to birth parents, ensuring that new parents can focus on their families during this crucial time.
7. Explore Alternative Work Arrangements in the Hybrid Work Model
Many staff members at Plante Moran tailor their work schedules based on their unique circumstances. Managers, understanding how crucial flexibility is to employee wellbeing, can encourage and support these alternative arrangements. Options range from telecommuting and compressed workweeks to part-time schedules and seasonally adjusted hours, all within the framework of the hybrid work model.
8. Stay Adaptable and Kind to Yourself
Work-life balance is a continuous journey, and it's essential to remain adaptable. Some days you might feel like you've achieved the perfect balance, while on others, you might need to focus more on one aspect of your life. Remember to be kind to yourself and take a long-term view.
In conclusion, creating a healthy work-life balance at Plante Moran is a collaborative effort, with the firm providing numerous supports and tools. However, it's also a deeply personal journey, requiring self-awareness, adaptability, and a commitment to one's well-being. With the right mindset and the plethora of resources available at Plante Moran, achieving a harmonious work-life balance within the hybrid work model is not just a possibility but a reality. Managers play a pivotal role in this, and understanding how they can support employee wellbeing and recognize employee burnout signs is crucial to the success of the entire organization.
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