A lot of companies today offer great work-life programs, but are managers penalizing employees who use them? Many employees say “yes.”
It appears anywhere from 25% to 40% of employees in the U.S., U.K. and Germany don’t feel comfortable using their employer’s work-life balance programs, according to a new WorldatWork study.
Why the discomfort? They feel they have been or will be punished for using them.
The study, entitled Men and Work-Life Integration, polled 2,312 employees and managers in six countries: Brazil, China, India, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The results were far worse from Brazil, China and India (referred to in the study as emerging countries).
Some of the negative repercussions employees said they’d experienced or believed they would experience for using work-life programs:
- Being given unfavorable job assignments
- Receiving negative performance reviews
- Receiving negative comments from a supervisor
- Being denied a promotion
- Being excluded from consideration for career-advancing assignments, and
- Having their commitment to their job questioned.
Of course none of that was your intent when you created work-life programs. It’s clear to most HR/Benefits pros that such programs can help recruit top talent, retain talent, improve morale and ramp up productivity.
Disconnect with management
The problem, according to the study, may be that executives/managers/supervisors aren’t on the same page as HR/Benefits.
More than a quarter (28%) of executives/managers/supervisors polled in the U.S., U.K. and Germany said employees who use flexible work arrangements will not advance very far in this organization — likely leading them to discourage workers from using work-life programs.
- 54% of execs/managers/supervisors said the ideal employee is available to meet business needs regardless of business hours
- 40% said the most productive employees are those without a lot of personal commitments
- 26% said women who are highly committed to their personal/family lives cannot be highly committed to their work, and
- 25% said men who are highly committed to their personal/family lives cannot be highly committed to their work.
Info: Download a PDF of the study here.