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Why Work-life is Part of Our Life's Work

November 25, 2019 Jaime Torchiana


There’s so much more to life than work. Even so, work is where we end up spending most of our time. At SHIFT, we feel that time should count for something. Your work should make you feel fulfilled, proud, and happy─yes, I said HAPPY─but unfortunately, the majority of the American workforce is still enduring feelings of dissatisfaction and disengagement. And although Gallup is optimistic about the latest trends in employee engagement, we all have an opportunity to step it up.

To put it into perspective, consider the fact that the  World Health Organization (WHO) included “burn-out” as an occupational phenomenon in their 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases published earlier this year. While not a medical condition per se, this “occupational phenomenon” is characterized by chronic workplace stress and the following characteristics:

  • Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
  • Increased mental distance from one’s job
  • Reduced professional efficacy

What’s the point, you ask? 

These characteristics and feelings actually have a huge impact on employee turnover. They’re so significant, in fact, that a recent study by  Globoforce reported that 47% of HR professionals cited employee retention and turnover as their biggest workforce management challenge this year, followed closely by recruitment. 

So if the data—and by any measure, empirical evidence─strongly suggests that hiring top talent and keeping it is an absolutely crucial challenge, we’re left asking one looming question: How can we better invest in our talent?

At SHIFT, we believe that happier and healthier employees are more productive employees, which is why we treat them the same way we treat our clients─with the utmost care and consideration. And because we know that our employees are the frontline connection point to our clients, keeping our employees happy keeps our clients happy, and that makes for a happier bottom line.  

To put it simply, your employees are your company’s competitive advantage, the secret weapon to your ongoing growth and success! 

We so firmly believe this that we’ve implemented a number of “perks” and initiatives to elevate our employees and ensure they feel valued. From sponsored learning and development to paid paternity leave, we go above and beyond the standard benefits. Considering the amount of them we actively use, I won’t go into all of our tactics, but I will highlight three that have resonated especially strong with me lately:

  1. One of Our Four Core Values Live By Design: Prioritize health & wellness
    We realize that we need to be our personal best to give our professional best, which is why we’ve waived cookie cutter solutions and made achieving work-life integration—putting each individual in control of that balance—a core value.

    For me, “Living by Design” meant taking last Friday off from work and chaperoning my daughter’s 4th grade field trip to New York. We toured the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum, saw the Statue of Liberty, researched our relatives at Ellis Island, paid our respects at the 9-11 Memorial, and climbed the Empire State Building. We ended our day with dinner in Little Italy, happily chatting about our experiences and the city that never sleeps. In that moment, it wasn’t lost on me that─even late on a Friday night─most lights in the offices surrounding us were on, illuminating employees still hard at work.

    Thank you, we love you! (4)

  2. SHIFT You Time
    Every Friday from 3-5pm we gift time back to our team to practice a bit of self-love, outside of the workplace. A little time goes a long way when it’s dedicated to doing what’s most important to you outside of the workplace. This time can mean anything from sweating it out at the gym, to practicing yoga, to spending time with family, or getting a massage. Do I capitalize on this time every week? No. But do I genuinely appreciate the recurring reminder on my calendar and take advantage of that time every chance I get? Absolutely. 

    Better YOU Time

  3. SHIFT’s “Thank You, We Love You” Program
    This program not only recognizes employee tenure at SHIFT, but rewards it! Check out how we take care of those who make SHIFT the company we are.

    Thank you, we love you! (2)

These are just a few examples of how SHIFT is investing in its employees. Ultimately, we recognize and actively promote that we can do better for ourselves, our employees, and our companies. It takes small changes, thoughtful modifications, and a bit of sincere appreciation to make a big impact.

What will you do to invest in your talent?

Our SHIFT culture is unique and employee engagement is one of our many superpowers! Creating engaged, all-in cultures is what we’re most often requested to replicate in our clients’ companies. Want help with your team? Connect with us.

Explore Competitive Perks

If you’re eager to elevate your employee experience but not sure where to start, check out our recent  Inevitable: The Future of Work podcast episode featuring Shea Coakley, CEO and Founder of PERKS, a convention offering non-conventional benefits that speak to affordable, individualized, employee needs. 

Inevitable: The Future of Work is a human resources podcast─hosted by Joe Mechlinksi, CEO of SHIFT and Amy Dufrane, CEO of HRCI─that investigates HR’s evolving impact on people, processes, and profitability.

TOPICS: Employee Engagement