Page 44 www.barbadostoday.bb 30/08/12What iswork-lifebalance?by Global Expert Systems shared by them and the employee. However, in spite of all that, the key to making work more The latest buzz enjoyable is really simple. Management, please listen to your employees! Please! How to listen to employees? Ever so often a new catch phrase emergesand very quickly finds its way into managementjargon. Do you remember the clarion call to 1. Remember that actions speak“think outside the box,” or the 1990s craze when louder than words:everyone was caught up in “downsizing’ and a. Measure absenteeism‘re-engineering’? b. Measure turnover Well, there’s a new kid on the block, c. Listen to that deafening silence when youespecially in the human resource management walk in the roomcircles. It’s the quest for that elusive “work-life d. Measure output and productivitybalance”. You would be amazed at the tons of e. Observe employee engagementstatistical studies out there on this so called f. Be aware of when ‘work-to-rule’ creeps inwork-life balance. Our position is very clear on the organisation;this misnomer — life must simply be balanced atwork. 2. GES recommends 360 degree The idea that there is work and then there assessments that involve supervisors,is some other life outside of that is just plain peers, external and internal clients andludicrous. Just calculate the amount of time in the employee;life spent preparing to get into the work force 3. Let technology help you. There is softwareand then the time and energy dedicated to work and one will quickly come to grips with our to assist with employee performance evaluationsstance — so let’s simply balance life at work! and assessments; Has anyone taken the time out to measure how many persons actually enjoy their work 4. Transparency in employee performance evaluation is very important;or those who supposedly have a miserable life outside of work? The dichotomy is therefore 5. Involve employees at all levels in the decision-making process. You may be surprised atsimply a false one. the solutions you will hear; 6. Acknowledge employees and really show appreciation - sometimes a simple thank you in Let talent management help to balance life at work an email can go a very long way. Overcoming fear of the boss (“bossophobia”) There’s no getting around it! Part of the human condition is to be engaged, employed orsimply be active. Whether or not we are doing volunteer work, we are here to be engaged.So let’s work like we don’t need the job. This is by no means undermining or understating all 1. Bosses are humans with real feelings and they don’t bite. So start by accepting that youof the gains we have made in human rights over the last century. are really dealing with an equal human being. For it would be worth our while to underscore some of the fundamental principles 2. Don’t be afraid to have a conversation with this human being like you would have withespoused by the International Labour Organisation which guide and govern the conventions any other. Make sure you are always respectful, truthful and sincere in the process.that all Caribbean nations have ratified and duly subscribe to: 3. Speak truth from the heart. When we put systems and procedures aside and touch the (a) Freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining; human heart we are likely to have better engagement. (b) The elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour; 4. Acknowledge your boss too. Just like employees feel their bosses don’t listen to them, (c) The effective abolition of child labour; and the vast majority of bosses will flip the script and tell you that they don’t feel appreciated by (d) The elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation. their staff. There’s nothing wrong with telling your boss that you appreciate him or her. Simply Once we have covered all the human rights we now have the job of helping our workers say thank you!enjoy their lives at work and this is where the Talent Management cycle comes into play again. 5. Do not let the situation escalate to a boiling point. If your boss is really that hard-nosed,Remember the first article in this series that spelt out the talent management model of plan, then you need to go through the established procedures to voice your concerns but don’tacquire, deploy, evaluate and plan again. bottle it up. By hiring right in the first place, companies will avoid so much of the mutual frustration In essence, we strongly believe that work is an integral part of life and the key to making that environment healthy is to really to listen, not just to words but to actions! Next week we will examine, “Performance Evaluation in Talent Management Cycle”. Don’t miss First Caribbean & Latin American Conference on Talent Management on September 25 at the Savannah Hotel, Barbados and September 26 at the Kapok Hotel, Trinidad. Feel free to visit Global Expert Systems online at http://www. globalexpertsystems.org/index. php/event/first-caribbean-latin- american-conference-on-talent- management/ or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.