“Work Life Effectiveness” is a term that some in the Work-Life field have lobbied to use instead of Work-Life Balance. The belief is that senior executives will buy into the term more easily. But whether you call it work life effectiveness, life work effectiveness, or work life balance, being overly concerned with terminology is a mistake. While the perception may be that some higher ups on the corporate ladder respond better to “effectiveness” studies have shown that “balance” is the more appealing term to the managers and individual contributors that work-life programs are designed to impact.
Much more important than what you call your work-life program is what it achieves. Senior executives respond to results.
Past work-life programs have focused their strategy, often entirely, on “What the organization can do for the employee” in terms of policies, benefits and procedures. Great strides have been made in such areas as EAP’s, flexibility in the work place and telecommuting. But many organizations have passed the point of diminishing returns in adding bells and whistles to programs of this type while doing nothing to teach employees to help themselves.
Changing the concept’s name from work life balance to worklife effectiveness does not help this problem – the only solution is to expand your program to include the other critical half of a successful work-life strategy – teaching employees to help themselves.
Whether you call it a work life effectiveness program or a work life balance program the goals are the same:
In the end, it doesn’t matter if the program is called work life effectiveness or work life balance. We need to stop being hung up on terminology and start focusing on the tools that are necessary to achieve the best results possible. By educating managers and employees with skills to help themselves create their own best life work effectiveness, the employer can see breakthrough returns on investment and a lasting positive impact on the entire organization.