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Leadership and Work - Life Relations and Issues

by June Kaminski, MSN ©


“Over the last 75 years, the workplace has changed more than anyone could have ever imagined. The clicking and clacking of mechanical adding machines and typewriters has been silenced by the whir of networked PCs. The faint rumblings of industrial psychology have been eclipsed by today's sophisticated human resources departments. All while the male-dominated world of management has been replaced by a workforce that reflects a growing ethnic, cultural, gender and global diversity.”

(Greengard, 1997, p. 50).

Since the beginning of the last century, the nature of work has changed significantly from production to information, knowledge and service. Yet work is fundamentally still structured based on many of the same assumptions used at the beginning of the industrial revolution when jobs were mostly assembly line manufacturing and workers were less educated and lived in extended family structures. We are living in the technology revolution yet many still work in organizations that continue to use principles, management techniques and work processes created for the industrial revolution (Galinsky & Bond, 1998).

Today only seven percent of the U.S. population live in a traditional family structure with a working father and a stay at home mother who cares for the children full time. Most people do not live near their retired relatives with the bonus of low cost, loving and convenient day care. Today's work force is mainly comprised of people who come from dual career and blended families, who are single parents, or who are caring for elders as well as children. Staff who have no children are much less likely to be willing to carry the burden of week-end and holiday overtime. Employees, no longer expect life time employment lessening the feelings of loyalty to the organization. The values of our work force are changing along with the times. In survey after survey, work-life integration issues emerge as key concerns that drive employees to make choices about who they will work for and what type of jobs they will do. An accelerated pace of life, non-traditional family relationships, dual earners working longer hours, globalization and downsizing as a few of the reasons the work/family focus has skyrocketed over the past few years (Bond, Galinsky, & Swanberg, 1998).

The confluence of economic, technological and business forces have dramatically increased the workloads of American workers. Downsizing, the shortage of skilled workers, the tight labor market and other factors have increased the responsibilities of employees at all organizational levels. Business leaders have gotten so used to their people working harder that they now expect the frenzied work pace as part of 'business as usual.' Consequently, the excessive workloads seen in the past only during crisis times have now become commonplace (Laabs, 1999).

The term “work-family” or “work-life” refers to any connection between the work and personal domains of an individual. This can involve structural (such as time commitment, geographical location, family size and structure) or psychological aspects (job and life satisfaction, stress, general health and well-being). Researchers have identified four main interface modes that can impact on the work and personal life domains. These include:

  • Spillover where activities and emotions from one domain spillover and effect the other domain;
  • Segmentation where two domains separate and do not affect each other
  • Compensation where involvement in one domain is due to a deficit in the other domain; and
  • Accommodation where demands of one domain requires a reduction of involvement in the other domain (Galinsky, 1999).
Initiatives aimed to help employees achieve a healthy balance between their work and family lives have been prompted by a number of important demographic and business trends. First and foremost is the fact that women, who continue to assume the greater share of dependents’ care duties at home, are heavily involved in full-time employment (Haupt, 1993). Hence, they must strive to arrange their lives in ways that accommodate their job and family responsibilities, making provision for all sorts of contingencies that might upset this delicate balancing act. But these concerns are not limited to women. From farmers to Generation X urban workers, “Americans want equity and fairness in their workplaces; they want time to enjoy life outside of work; and they want economic security for themselves, their children and their grandchildren” (Radcliffe Public Policy Center, 1999, p. i).

A second important development concerns certain dynamics related to the deployment of today's workforce. The present era has witnessed the globalization of many business enterprises, calling for extended hours of service, if not “round the clock” response capability. Employers must develop new scheduling patterns that are flexible enough to meet customer needs during periods of high demand without wasting staff resources during relatively slow periods (Gottlieb, 1999; Aaron-Corbin, 1999).

“Moreover, as global developments create cycles of economic expansion and contraction, managers must have the freedom to cut back and enlarge staffing patterns. They must be able to smoothly and rapidly move employees into and out of full-time work, and mobilize a larger workforce without incurring the extra costs associated with leasing more space. For such reasons, flexible work arrangements can be used as a strategic management tool to meet the shifting needs of employers and employees alike” (Gottlieb, 1999, p.5). It is not difficult to understand why leaders are reluctant to embrace work-life initiatives and feel uncomfortable dealing with work-life conflicts amidst a swirl of other changes and uncertainities. Yet, research and experience supports the notion of leaders taking the initiative and giving full hearted support to these programs for a number of different reasons and benefits.

Historical Context

“Human history has left us with a legacy of patriarchy and hierarchy, and a myth of male dominance and superiority based on the male as the warrior and protector. One can think of this as almost a state of "arrested development" in the sense that we have very limited models of how humans can and should relate to each other in organizational settings. The traditional hierarchical model is virtually the only one we have”. (Schein, 1994, p. 2).

Historically, industrial capitalism created an ineluctable downward pressure on wages, forcing workers to work long hours in order to earn enough to sustain themselves. As well, lengthening the working day was one of the ways by which employers could increase the production of surplus-value. A disciplined kind of ideology of work emerged, a moral compulsion to labor; which was in part responsible for capitalism's periodic crises of overproduction, and one of the ways by which employers were able to enforce work discipline. The rise of industrial capitalism was “associated with rigid, inflexible structures of time, wherein work effort didn't vary seasonally or across the working day, as the need to maximize the productive potential of machinery, coordinate complex labor processes and, above all, to maximize the application of human labor-power engendered a kind of obsession with time and hours of work” (Meikens, 1998, p. 2).

“The long-range cause of modern workplace alienation can be traced to transformations in the organization of work that date to the early 19th century. Production of goods according to divisions of task on the basis of wage labor and with the use of machinery began then and evolved, albeit in an uneven fashion, throughout the 1800's. At the turn of the 20th century, the division of labor became a studied and concerted matter with time-and-motion studies, piece-rate incentive systems, and publicity efforts of people liek Frederick Winslow Taylor. "Taylorism" also had an uneven history -- there was notable resistance from workers and usurped supervisors alike, adding to the unrest of the day that led to the creation of the Department of Labor, and the whole process of task definition and ratemaking could be quite cumbersome in all but the most standardized production endeavors. Yet, detailed task work has become fixed practice in this century, and has been extended from manufacturing to office and service work. Moreover, innovation in "conveyor belt" technology, brought to the fore by Henry Ford and others, wed the machine to the principle of division of labor, leading to more fully developed assembly-line production than ever contemplated or implemented in the 19th century.(7) The overburdening of the workplace with new layers of hierarchy and bureaucracy added to the sense of powerlessness for workers. Thus, for some employees, work has gradually become more monotonous, meaningless, and dispiriting”. (Walter Licht, W. & Grossman, J., 1988, p. 22).

Beginning more than a century ago, the labor movement confronted the issue of long working days directly by pressing for a reduction of workshift hours. The result was a prolonged and bitter struggle over decades for the eight-hour day. Employers resisted steadfastly, recognizing that such an arrangement would jeopardize one of their primary ways of generating profit. With the advent of the eight-hour day, and with the apparent stabilization of labor-management relations in the post-Second World War era, work time ceased to be a central theme in the workplace. Employers, unions and workers themselves believed that adequate flexibility and a reasonable amount of time away from work had been established. Now, at the beginning of the 21st century, the move to shorten the work week is once again a topic of serious focus and concern.

People often work long workdays by choice, but this choice is usually of economic necessity. Many low-income Americans combine a series of part-time and temporary jobs which results in grueling long working and commuting hours. On a daily basis, they cope with chaotic work schedules, low wages, transitory social relationships, and monotonous work tasks. “In the 1990s, the principal way in which blue-collar workers are able to achieve a "middle-class" income is through working long hours” (Meikens, 1998, p. 11).

Meikens (1998) described work as productive activity; a distinctively human process through which human beings express themselves and relate to the material world. But in a grass-roots.movement that trend watchers are calling voluntary simplicity," Americans from all walks of life are dropping out of the race--or at least slowing the pace. Some are giving up high-pressure jobs or a second income in exchange for more free time and a saner family life. Others are taking less drastic steps to streamline household and financial tasks and to shed clutter that needs to be stored, maintained or insured. (Davis, 1996, p. 32).

Every employee today is a member of a "generation cohort" with memories that influence their work life enormously. "Cohort" refers to members of a generation who are linked through shared life experiences in their formative years - usually the first 10 years of life. The beliefs people accumulated as a child affects how they now view risk and challenge, authority, technology, relationships, and economics, as well as whom they hire, fire, or promote. Their "cohort beliefs" continue to have impact on people’s worldview, their interactions, and the way they approach work. Hagevik (1999) described four generational cohorts currently in the labor force today, or preparing for it. These four cohorts include the Matures, the Baby Boomers, Generation X and the Millennials.

The Matures: were born before 1946, either lived through the Great Depression or had parents who did. They internalized the values of hard work, thriftiness, and an emphasis on traditional mores. Their world view was shaped by events such as World War II and the Korean Conflict, which many of them heard about over the radio. Self development needed by matures to succeed in the current workplace are the ability to observe and read beyond their own cohort and what feels internally comfortable. They need to question their beliefs about their willingness to change and about the attitudes of younger workers and their capabilities.

The Baby Boomers: Born between 1946 and 1960, baby boomers form a cohort more than twice as large as that of their parents. As children, baby boomers experienced unprecedented economic prosperity, parents with secure jobs, the flower child movement and the Vietnam War, and optimism about the future, which led to a buy-now-pay-later philosophy,. The media protrayed nuclear families that were now somewhat separated from their extended families by location and occupation. Sex, drugs, and rock and roll became cultural beacons and birth control changed the way adults made reproductive decisions. In the current workplace, Baby Boomers need to recognize that their effectiveness as maturing managers will depend on their ability to adjust to an emerging diverse labor pool. These managers need to learn to be flexible with their employees, to avoid attrition and a conflict ridden organizational culture.

Generation X: “Born between 1960 and 1980, this cohort is only half the size of their parents' generation. By some accounts the smartest, most technically literate, and most highly educated cohort in history, Generation X’s question many of the assumptions and beliefs of their elders. As children, they experienced their dual-career parents' focus on work while they attended daycare or became latchkey individualists. Divorce ended nearly 40 percent of all marriages, and the family structure began reorganizing into smaller units such as those led by single parents. Successive layoffs of the parents from industry giants like GM and IBM added to an emerging insecurity about maintaining a lifelong job. Computers, once the purview of secretaries, became ubiquitous playthings and, later, tools in every occupation. The public became skeptical of elected leaders and cultural figures. AIDS became the most important emerging health concern” (Hagevik, 1999, p. 40). In the workplace, members of this cohort need to strive to understand the contradictions between loyalty and responsibility to their company or profession and older employees. They would do well to use their enthusiasm for change and streamlining to their advantage in the workplace.

Millennials: Born between 1981 and 2000, Millennials are just entering the work force. They have as corporate models Microsoft and many smaller emerging companies and technologies. Millennials are likely to be the products of single parents or blended families who grew up with MTV with previously unheard-of sex and violence readily available on TV. Their thinking is influenced less by linear models than menu-driven ones, although their communication is instant and omnipresent via cell phone and e-mail. The health concerns of aging boomer parents have surrounded the millennials with issues of youth and mortality. A key challenge for this cohort may be just showing up in workplaces that don't reflect their values or expectations. They need to learn how to ask what's right in ambiguous environments. Most likely, they will be expected to maintain the pace of societal and economic change, or perhaps to speed it up.

Recruitment of Young Single Cohorts

“Male and female executives, confident of their ability to contribute to their prospective employers, are increasingly expressing their desire for balance between their careers and their personal lives. Human resources professional must therefore be prepared to address work/family issues.” (Cherney, 1996, p.3).

Companies that want to attract and retain talented young executives can't afford to ignore the needs of such candidates. Work/life benefits have come into their own within this decade, propelled to the fore front in large part by Generation X cohort members. These young workers readily acknowledge the importance of a balanced lifestyle and actively seek organizations whose policies and benefits support work/life balance. But they are not alone. While Generation Xers may have put the spotlight on work/life issues, finding the right balance is something that is important to all employees across the generations. “Lifestyle issues are becoming increasingly prominent in defining what attracts employees and keeps them motivated and committed. Employees are analyzing their professions, industries, organizations and jobs, and they are making dramatic career decisions that will enable them to better balance their work and their personal lives” (Vincola & Farren, 1999, p. 13).

Working Women

The number of women in the workforce has increased dramatically over the past 40 years (Cornell Careers Institute, 1999). A large proportion of these women are also married with children, creating a phenomena of dual career families for 59 per cent of all families (Kenney & Wang, 1997). Traditional families where only the husband was employed were tallied at 18.7 per cent of all families. “In 1900, the labor force participation rate for all women was only 20 per cent; by 1950 it had increased to almost 34 per cent, and by 1997 the participate rate stood at more than 59 per cent. In 1900, less than 6 per cent of married women were in the labor force, a proportion that increased to 20 per cent in 1950 and to 61 per cent in 1997 The most dramatic increase has been among married women aged 25 to 34. The overall labor force participation rate for this group increased more than 43 per cent between 1960 and 1997, from 29 per cent to 72 per cent” (p. 2 - 3).

Gary (1999) presented work/life issues using an ethnographic lens where she discovered that working mothers very much want to be, and be viewed as, both mothers and employees. As mothers who cannot be there every hour of the day but do manage to “be there" when needed, organizing and creating "family time," and "doing things." She found that her subjects divided their claims to being a "good mother" into rationals and their overworked status of being both fulltime employees and mothers as reflections of both class and gender. Gary concluded that the need to define the problems of being employed and a parent was social and political.

“Since 80 percent of families now depend partly or fully on the paychecks of mothers, equal pay is not just a women’s issue, it’s a family issue, as well; and helping families deal with the competing needs of the home and the workplace must also be among our highest priorities” (U.S. Dept of Labor. 1999, p. i).

Dual Career Families

Organizations have traditionally expected fathers to be present and productive, and family needs, such as caring for a sick child, were considered the responsibility of the wife (Berry & Meyer Rao, 1997). Pleck (1984) stated that "the working mother has been well established as a social issue; the working father has not" (p. 11). He further noted that the reluctance of employers to implement policies supporting employed fathers is derived, at least in part, from the deep-seated societal belief that breadwinning, rather than direct involvement with children, is a father's fundamental parental responsibility. This is supported by Griswold's (1993) historical work on fatherhood in which he framed the issue by writing: "How we came to expect more than ever before from fathers without knowing quite what to expect, is the story of fatherhood in the twentieth century" (p. 9). “The total weekly hours worked by couples increased by six and a half hours between 1973 and 1994, from an average of less than 78 hours to more than 84 hours per week” (Clarkberg & Moen, 1995, p. 1).

The challenge for families is how to integrate work and family life rather than juggle the two. Integration is key so that people can be successful in multiple roles, rather than struggling and juggling from crisis to crisis. Although each employee’s own family is important to them, how effective they are individually is increasingly tied to how others are managing work and life demands. There is probably no more important issue confronting working parents than the need to better balance the obligations of family and career. Leaders and organizations that promote a family-friendly context in the workplace are receptive to the needs of their employees who are also parents.

Another barrier to work/life practices is the fact that work roles and tasks are very compartmentalized in the U.S. These roles are separated from family and self-development concerns, and they are supposed to be treated in an emotionally neutral and objective manner, which makes it very hard to examine the pros and cons of organizational practices that put more emphasis on relationships and feelings. According to tradition, just to talk about anxiety in the work context is taboo (Schein, 1994).

In their study, Guelzow, Bird, and Koball (1991) found that men with more flexible work schedules had less role strain and lower levels of marital, professional, and parental stress. Barnett, Marshall, and Pleck (1992) also examined family role quality variables for men. They concluded that parental role quality was a significant predictor of men's psychological distress and that parental role, marital role, and job role quality scores were equal in the strength of their association with distress scores.

Ellen Galinsky (1999) interviewed parents from various US cities to listen to the questions they had about work and family life. Based on those questions and the insights she gained from talking to their children, Galinsky conducted a nationally representative study of 605 employed mothers and fathers with children aged birth through 18, and 1023 children, ages 8-18. Galinsky found that the children did not complain about their parents working, but wanted more focused time as well as down time with them, and more rituals in their daily lives. They also wanted to hear about their parents work and be kept current about what their parents were doing. A substantial minority of kids worried about their parents because the parents were routinely stressed and tired. Communication was the key, as was availability to attend important events in the children’s lives. As well, Galinsky (1999) presented a model to view the parallels of work life and family life, based on the foundational concepts of control, demands, focus, and support.

Milligan (1998) noted that fathers and single male workers were beginning to access work/life programs in greater numbers. Initially, a stigma that these programs were mainly for women deterred men from utilizing the services. “A program that explicitly points out that work/life programs aren't for women only is the key to drawing more men into speaking out about their work/life imbalances and increasing their use of available programs One successful technique ,... is for corporations to spotlight examples of men using the corporate work/life programs in promotional materials such as brochures and posters touting the services” (Milligan, 1998, p. 3).

The "culture of fatherhood" (LaRossa, 1988, p. 451) or society's beliefs and values concerning the role of the male parent is quickly changing (Marsiglio, 1993; Bond, Galinsky, & Swanberg, 1998). These changes, however, can lead to so-called equal opportunity stress for both men and women involved in juggling work and family roles, which is supported by findings of 72 per cent of men and 83 per cent of women reporting significant stress and conflict between work and family roles (Rosen, 1991; Berry & Meyer Rao, 1997). Voydanoff (1993) theorized that "it is not sufficient to view work/family issues as women's issues that affect men only as husbands of working women" (p. 99). She urges focusing on work/family issues from a multiple roles perspective.

The work of Bronfenbrenner (1979) presented a theoretical framework that could be used to explore a working parent’s multiple roles. Bronfenbrenner viewed the individual as being in the center of a series of concentric systems. These systems surround the individual "as a set of nested structures, each inside the next, like a set of Russian dolls" (p. 22). He termed these systems in order of increasing distance from the individual: the microsystem, the mesosystem, the exosystem, and the macrosystem.

Microsystems were the individual's most immediate setting or day-to-day routine reality, such as the family and the workplace. Mesosystems involved the relationships between the various microsystems that the individual occupied. The individual did not usually participate directly in exosystems, but they did exert power and influence on the enclosed mesosystems and microsystems. Finally, the overarching macrosystem represented broad ideological patterns of a particular culture (Garbarino & Abramowitz, 1992).

Mesosystem links for employed parents involved connections between their workplace and family microsystems. Exosystems included family-related policies of employers as well as the schedules and policies of their child care provider. Federal policy regarding family leave and the ideology of a father's and mother’s role provide examples of relevant macrosystem influences. Bronfenbrenner and Crouter (1984) discussed the relevance of the "evolving pattern of ever-more-powerful reciprocal influences between the world of work on the one hand and the family as a context for human development on the other" (p. 40) and the implications of this for public policy. “Fathers and mothers are negotiating new roles, for which they probably did not have role models in their own parents, within a workplace exosystem that has typically not been supportive of the needs of working parents of either gender” (Berry & Meyer Rao, 1997, p. 396).

Hochschild (1997) theorized that the rewards of work and family have been reversed in modern times. At work, a circle of friends and acquaintances with whom one can laugh, socialize, tell stories, and find a network of support exists. Work provides an opportunity for recognition that is often absent at home.. Despite long hours on the job, people preferred to spend time at work to avoid spouses who would not share in maintaining a family, children who protested their devotion to work, and the "speed up" of family life that was a byproduct of long hours at work. She found that when people were at home, they felt they had to make up for their absence by using the little available time as efficiently as possible. Thus, family life was increasingly sliced into small pockets of time with much rushing from task to task in order to meet the family's needs. At home, people always had "their engine running," and there was little opportunity to receive recognition from other family members who were resentful of their absences due to work. Since women carry most of the burden for family life, they were more likely to feel the effects of the "time bind" than men.

Hochschild (1997) argued that this “time bind” can only be changed by a "time movement," whose aim is to lower the standard for full-time work. She reviewed the history of the labor movement in the U.S. to show that an eight-hour work day was won after much struggle. She argued that the time is ripe for such a movement now, and the experiences of other countries and other firms in the U.S. show that a reduced work week can be achieved without a decline in profits or market share. In addition, Hochschild argued that a successful resolution of the time bind depended on fathers’ willingness to increase their commitment to family life beyond what they currently give. Unless these changes were made, she concluded, children would continue to pay the price for evading the "time bind."

Berry and Meyer Rao (1997) theorized that work and family roles of men and women comprise a family/work role system. “That is, a man's role in one domain (work or family) reciprocates with his own role in the other domain as well as with his spouse's role in the same domain (e.g., his family role is related to his wife's family role). Recent studies have shown a decrease for wives and an increase for husbands in time spent with housework and child care (Pleck, 1985). However, mothers still do more housework and child care than fathers (e.g., Hochschild, 1989; Lechner & Creedon, 1994)” (p. 386). “With multiple-role conflict, the more positions a person acquires and the more roles in which he or she is expected to engage, the more complex it becomes to meet the responsibility of each role. This form of conflict has taken on new significance in the 1990s as the roles and expectations of men and women have changed. It has important implications in predicting an individual's longevity in a company, especially for single women who are preparing for the challenges they will face in combining marriage and a full-time career” (Aaron-Corbin, 1999, p. 62).

The workplace contribution to work/family stress was seen in findings concerning job flexibility or lack thereof. The amount of flexibility available is most often determined by company policy, or the exosystem, over which families have little control. From the worldview of corporate America (the exosystem) Rosen (1991) presented this image: "The portrait of the traditional American worker is fading fast, yet the frame still hangs on the walls of American business. It shows a middle-aged man, married with a couple of kids and a wife who doesn't work" (p. 265). As companies address the reality that approximately 40 per cent of the workforce consists of dual-earner couples, they continue to face a major stumbling block, manifested as the attitudes of their own upper management (Zedeck & Mosier, 1990).

Hochschild's (1992) recent research also shows that management tends to view work and family balance as a so-called women's issue (Berry & Meyer Rao, 1997). The greatest work/life success was reported by dual-career women aged 50 to 64 who had no children at home. Trying to work as well as givie their young children a quality upbringing caused younger women to feel less successful in creating a balanced work and home life dynamic for their families (Moen, 1999). Lechner and Creedon (1994) summarized: "Partnerships are needed between men and women, between employees and employers, and between the government and all other bodies in order to provide for two of society's basic tasks--economic production and the care of dependent persons" (p. 28).

Flexible Work Configurations

The benefits of temporary employment, job sharing, part-time work, telecommuting and independent contractors aren't just one-sided, that is, they do not only serve only one party’s needs (Rose, 1998). Employers are able to reap the rewards of these flexible work situations because they also work well for employees. “According to the United States Department of Labor, 6.7 percent of the US. workforce - or 8.5 million Americans - now classify themselves as independent contractors. An overwhelming majority of these individuals (84 percent) prefer these arrangements to regular full-time employment”. (Caudron, 1998, p. 42).


The move toward telecommuting from the worker’s personal residence is predicted to have a radical impact on the return to a “home and hearth - centered” lifestyle similar to what was the norm prior to the industrial revolution. The latter produced a cultural devaluation of the home over time since the home lost its productive significance. Telecommuting, home offices, and home schooling are all by products of the revolutionary developments in telecommunications technology that will allow a larger percentage of today's workforce to work from home. “With any radical shift in working relations, you are not only changing where, how, and when work is done, but our entire identity that is focused around work. This will positively improve family relations and expand opportunities for all people, especially those historically disadvantaged, and have great environmental impact as to cleaner air” (Posch, 1997, p. 64)

Between 20 and 58 percent of employers now offer telecommuting arrangements to their employees. Current estimates put the number of U.S. telecommuters at 12 million, and growing. These situations allow companies to save money on central office space and support services while also boosting productivity, raising employee satisfaction and reducing sick time usage (Caudron, 1998). Job Sharing

According to a 1997 survey of work and family benefits by Hewitt Associates in Lincolnshire, Illinois, 37 percent of employers offer job-sharing arrangements to their employees. These situations have been shown to help companies retain valuable employees, increase productivity, reduce burnout and increase employee motivation, commitment and loyalty. Furthermore, with two people sharing one job, there's better job continuity if an employee is sick or on vacation. Shorter Work Weeks

According to Schor (1992) Americans are both overworked and underemployed. Other family members are working harder to compensate for job insecurity of breadwinners. Moreover, when the education of family members is taken into account, those with college degrees are the most overworked, but their real incomes grew by only one-third since 1967. For those who have failed to complete college, however, working harder is a response to stagnant real family incomes. Therefore, policies which seek to reduce the length of work weeks will only be successful if they are coupled with policies which increase job security and improve living standards.

Psychosocial Aspects

Work/life issues and conflicts do not only affect the physical and survival needs of workers, but the psychosocial aspects of work and life meaning as well. Several psychological states and social attributes are affected by these issues and concerns.

Mutual Trust

“My hypothesis is that the more we can build up relationships of trust in an organization at all levels, the less will we need to retain command/control structures. The lower the level of trust the more we will be forced into tight procedural, structural, hierarchic, command control forms of coordination and control. These forms of control often pay high, human and economic, costs in draining away the energy of human motivation, innovation, creativity and entrepeneurship. But when trust is low we seem to have no alternative but to resort to them” (Merry, 1999, p.1).

Merry (1999) encouraged organizations to try to create an structure that has a strong orientation to creating within itself a bona fide community in the form of values of trust, acceptance, respect, personal recognition, appreciation, cooperation and synergy. Strong value should be placed on enhancing individual differences, personal growth, creativity and variety as serving synergy. “It should value and try to maintain participatory, democratic, distributive open decision making procedures. It should try to motivate its members mainly by intrinsic motivation and not by external rewards. It should thrive on individual, group and community learning” (Merry, 1999, p. 7).

Stress and Overload

Gottlieb (1999) studied the psychological effects of flexible work arrangements and schedules. “Our findings are intriguing because they point to different psychological gateways through which our two types of flexible work arrangements function to reduce stress and promote family role competence. We found that jobs involving reduced hours accomplish these beneficial effects by decreasing perceived job overload, whereas full-time jobs that involve flexible scheduling of the hours of work do so by enhancing perceived control over time. These findings are consistent with current theoretical viewpoints that underscore the important role of perceived job demands and perceived job control in the stress process. They also spotlight the power that structural changes in job design can have in altering psychological states that affect levels of global stress and perceived role competence at home. Indeed, we are intrigued by the discovery that certain changes in the structure of work can cross the boundary and enhance self-perceptions regarding one's family functioning. We are also interested in following up these findings with new research that examines the impact of flexible work arrangements on marital functioning, interactions and relationships with children, and physical and emotional health” (p. 9).

Identity and Self Esteem

Kruger (1999) reported that to many people, work has become personal. “These days, more people have higher expectations for work than ever before. People want to bring their whole selves to the job -- all of their skills, all of their interests, all of their values.. Whether they are single or married with children ( about 40 per cent of them have spouses or live-in partners), work has become their primary source of self-esteem, recognition, respect -- their only path to interconnectedness” (p. 183). Philipson (2000) a therapist for people suffering from mental health challenges perpetuated from their abnormal attachment to their jobs warns employees to focus on balancing their private lives with their work lives. She, in part, correlates the “perks” - social events, fitness facilities, casual office relations and “we are a family” rhetoric in the workplace as perpetuating a false sense of belonging and source for self esteem bolstering. Philipson witnessed the extreme shock and emotional distress experienced by people, men and women alike, who have lost their link with the organization that they have learned to love and consider “a second home”. To counter- balance this deep level of reaction and stress, Philipson, a practicing psychologist suggested that all employees and leaders do some intense soul searching and make the changes necessary to ensure that their personal life is as rich and meaningful part of their lives as their work life seems to be.

This preoccupation with work coincides with the trend of broken family, community, and religious ties often leaving life outside work increasingly empty. Meanwhile, workplaces have become more appealing, with teams replacing rigid hierarchies, casual dress supplanting corporate power suits, and employers offering rank-and-file workers previously unimaginable opportunities to make an impact. More people are looking to their work to satisfy basic emotional needs that, in another era, would have been met by family, religion, and community life. “Benjamin Hunnicutt, an historian and professor at the University of Iowa at Iowa City who specializes in the history of work, worries that work is fast replacing religion in providing meaning in people's lives. "Work has become how we define ourselves," he says. "It is now answering the traditional religious questions: Who am I? How do I find meaning and purpose? Work is no longer just about economics; it's about identity." (Kruger, 1999, p. 187). Autonomy and Self Development Hitchin and Hitchin (1999) suggested four fundamental rules to follow when designing and leading a properly balanced, reasonable work and personal life

. “Rule one is the most difficult to achieve and entails individuals to redefine one's value set within the context of what they perceive success to be. This success value-set ought to contain the elements of personal and spiritual development, family and other interpersonal relationships and productive work with the need to achieve. Secondly, once these priorities have been set, individuals must realize that there are prices to pay to achieve these goals, know what these prices are and be prepared to pay them. Third, people must clearly identify their personal sources of pressure and barriers to a balanced life. These pressures typically are either organizational, psychological or financial in nature. Fourth, they must control and manage these pressures continuously” (p. 99).

Loyalty and Commitment

In a study with 3,000 wage and salaried employees, the Family and Work Institute (1994) found that employees placed a very high value on the quality of their work environment. This suggested that efforts to improve communication, reduce work-family conflict, and create a more supportive environment could rekindle flagging loyalty and enthusiasm in the workplace. Workers in the survey who had changed their jobs within the past five years said they rated such workplace characteristics as open communication, management quality, and the impact on family life more important than the wages in choosing an employer. They also placed greater importance on benefits that would help them achieve a better balance between job and personal life.

“About one-quarter of employees without flexible scheduling or the right to work at home said they would change jobs to gain those opportunities, 47 percent of those who lacked the right to time off to care for sick family members said they would take a cut in pay or benefits to get it. Such non-traditional benefits also correlate with greater feelings of loyalty and commitment to helping the employer succeed, the study shows--though traditional benefits, such as health insurance do not have the same results” (Family & Work Institute, 1994, p. 2). Nearly half of the participants surveyed indicated that they provided routine care for dependents, either elderly or disabled relatives or young children. And 87 percent reported having at least some day-to-day family responsibilities at home, suggesting that work-family policies such as flexible working hours and dependent care, should not be viewed as special assistance for a small group of workers such as mothers, but as general assistance for all employees.

Community and Belongingness

Hochschild (1997) observed that many Americans spend more time at work than is usual and find themselves less and less able to find adequate time for their domestic lives. Ironically, she noted that Americans are doing so, in some sense, voluntarily. It appears that some Americans have taken refuge in work. Confronted by increasingly unfulfilling, unmanageable, conflict-ridden domestic lives, they find solace and a sense of belonging into the workplace. Moreover, for some workers, workplaces reshaped by such innovations as Total Quality Management (TQM) have become more "home-like." In a profound irony, it is at work that such employees find the support, praise, and gratification that they would normally receive at home.

Work/Life Initiatives

Work & Family Connection, Inc. (1997) conducted a study with 153 American organizations to investigate the extent and the impression of the success of implemented work/life programs. The responses from both employers and employees caused the authors to summarize that work/life programs do afford numerous benefits to both employees and the organization as a whole. Some benefits named included:

a) enhanced employee satisfaction and morale;
b) improved productivity;
c) enhanced commitment;
d) enhanced recruitment;
e) reduced absenteeism;
f) reduced turnover;
g) more new mothers returned to work;
h) improved diversity efforts;
i) decreased health care costs; and
j) enhanced manager’s skills.

Organizational work-life programs were designed to help employees be more productive, loyal, and satisfied by helping them balance their work responsibilities with their personal lives. Work-life programs included such elements as flexible work options, dependent care services, time-off policies, financial assistance, health and wellness programs, and concierge services, among other benefits (Galinsky & Bond, 1998). These programs have been shown to improve overall job performance by enhancing productivity, reducing absenteeism and turnover, increasing customer retention and satisfaction, attracting and retaining talented workers, enhancing employee commitment, increasing job satisfaction and employee morale, and reducing employee stress.

The work-life approach has expanded in recent years largely as a result of shifting workforce demographics, growing competition for workers, and the increasing globalization of business. Work-life initiatives were initially developed to address the needs of the growing number of working mothers in the workforce, but today they are designed to help all employees enhance their personal and professional lives. As part of this evolution, companies are developing a broad range of work-life programs and policies and conducting studies to evaluate the impact of these programs on employees and business performance. Leadership companies are helping to create a workplace environment that supports the growing need of employees to balance their professional and personal lives.

Betty Friedan (1997) discussed the urgency of a new paradigm shift that addressed issues of shorter work weeks, flexible work hours, the backlash against women, the family, and family values.. The goal of the new paradigm shift was to bring men and women together, as a community, to move toward a break- through in the work time-bind. Friedan concluded that the new paradigm shift is underway, evidenced by the changes that are occurring in the corporate sector and in the vigorous public discussion of these issues. The need for restructuring the economy is paramount in countering increased income inequality and in meeting the needs of the family. The mission of the new paradigm included the demand for shorter work weeks, the abolition of mandatory overtime, providing pro-rated benefits for part-time and flex-time workers, and paying employees for five days of work with one day reserved for community service. Friedan called on members of the community to focus on their similarities rather than their differences, in order to shift toward a new paradigm for balancing the demands of work and family.

This envisioned sense of community is a common theme in work/life initiatives, especially when the home life is regarded as equally important to the work life. “First, there is a growing body of evidence from studying organizations that have been both adaptive and innovative over a long period of time that they have in common a concern for people which takes the form of an equal concern for all of their stakeholders-- customers, employees, suppliers, the community, and stockholders. No one group dominates the thinking of management because it is recognized that any one of these groups can slow down and destroy the organization” (Schein, 1994, p. 2).

“Recent years have seen a growth in the number of progressive, forward looking companies that are investing in employee career development programs. They see employee career development aligned with their strategic business objectives - another strategy for profitability and competitiveness” (National Life/Work Center, 2000, p. 19). For instance, shoe manufacturer and retailer Stride Rite Corp is committed to improve the quality of life of its employees and the communities in which it operates. In line with this mission, the Cambridge, Massachusetts based company established the Intergenerational Center, a day-care center facility for the children and elder dependents of employees. The center was the first of its kind in Corporate America. As well, Stride Rite was the first American firm to establish an on-site day care center for the children of employees and of other members of the community in 1971 (Laabs, 1993).

The National Life/Work Center (NLWC) in New Brunswick, Canada recommended that a career development program should be offered by all organizations and encouraged employees to gain commitment for such a program to give workers the opportunity to learn about work/life balancing strategies. Once commitment was obtained, a career development needs assessment was needed for each employee followed by the formation of steering and advisory committees for the proposed programs. Six competencies were suggested for focus and development in the career development programs: a) participation in life-long learning supportive of life/work goals; b) securing and creation and maintenance of work; c) understand, engage in and manage one’s own life/work building process; d) locate and effectively use life/ work information; e) make life/work enhancing decisions; and f) build and maintain a positive self-image.

“Successful career development programs in organizations are multifaceted, based on the needs of both employees and the organization, flexible, and responsive to change. They draw from the expertise of a variety of people whose efforts must be coordinated and who have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities in the delivery of employee career development (NLWC, 2000, p. 21). Barriers to Effective Implementation

Landauer (1997) found that many Human Resource (HR) professionals recognized that work/life programs can help organizations attract and retain quality employees; reduce absenteeism; bolster productivity; and enhance corporate image. However, often these benefits are not obvious to senior management. To convince top-level executives of the bottom line impact of work-life initiatives, HR practitioners were advised to focus on five measures:

a) employee time saved,
b) increased motivation and productivity,
c) employee retention,
d) decreased healthcare costs and stress-related illnesses, and
e) absenteeism.

Qualitative factors that could also be addressed included improvements in corporate reputation, community and public relations, employee recruitment and employee loyalty. When developing work/life programs, HR practitioners should consider organizational goals as well as the unique needs of employees. Landauer summarized that organizations who have used these programs found that family-supportive programs are a key strategy in retaining top performers and becoming an "employer of choice."

Human resource executives often find it difficult to gain the support of top administration for the 'soft issues' of personnel management. These issues, particularly work/family programs, are difficult to sell to the CEO mainly because of the psychology of the chief executive and the sociology or culture of the workplace (MacGregor, 1998). Many CEOs are just starting to become familiar with the concept of work/family practices and may be skeptical of its merit. They are more comfortable with measurement ideas and tend to consider abstract concepts as nonsubstantive.

Aside from the CEO factor, work/family initiatives can be difficult to push due to a wide variety of cultural variables, such as the changing employer-employee relationship and the transformation of employee expectations into employee rights. As well, the typical CEO was probably brought up with the Protestant work ethic, which holds the individual accountable for his or her success or failure. The profound changes reflected in the more aspiring work/family programs - such as telecommuting or job sharing - may test a CEO's personal standards of accountability and definition of legitimate work. These standards can be tough to change because they underlie the intricate system of commitments that has historically defined the employer-employee relationship. (Budd, 1996).

An increasing number of organizations are adopting the concept of alternative work arrangements for their employees. The benefits to the organization is when employees come to work having more control over their time and more opportunities to deal with some of the issues outside the workplace. They tend to be more “ready” for work and feel not only less stress but are grateful to the company for allowing them to have these kinds of flexible arrangements. However, to take full advantage of the program, the support of managers is critically needed as morale boosters and a way of promoting productivity. Leader support for flexible work arrangements is critical and often problematic. It does create definite management problems. It is easier to control staff when all employees are working at the same time, under the same roof.

The growing emphasis among companies on dynamic, creative teamwork and more employee interaction could also clash with the trend toward flexible work arrangements. There's no real incentive for most managers on their long list of priorities to manage flexibility (Marmer Solomon, 1999). Flexible work arrangements require a higher level of management and coordination between a manager and their employees, and some managers need to learn to be more flexible themselves. Even the best work/life programs may go underused if leaders do not encourage or allow employees to participate in them (Greenwald, 1998).

“The flexibility of an employer may be measured along numerous dimensions. In this article, we focus on one of these, the organization of work. We consider an employer to be exhibiting flexibility in the organization of work when - in the process of producing a good or providing a service - there is a movement away from a traditional, hierarchical structure in which employees have rigid, narrowly defined roles. This may entail employee input on decisions previously left to the discretion of management, worker coordination across occupational lines, a focus on quality by workers at all levels, or numerous other modifications in the organization of work” (Gittleman, Horrigan, & Joyce, 1998, p. 99)

Many organizations are not enjoying the strategic benefits of initiated work/family programs because they have not properly embedded the program into the corporate culture and business strategy. These programs often do not have real business grounding and usually conflict with corporate culture, and are therefore seen by employees as mere concessions and add-ons primarily targeted at women with small children (Vincola, 1998). Each person in an organization comes to the workplace with his or her own set of assumptions about what makes an ideal worker and what's the most effective way to do work. People have been learning these assumptions since childhood, watching their parents, listening to teachers and receiving messages from the media. These messages give guidance regarding the appropriate behaviors and belief systems to exhibit in the workplace. Examining traditional assumptions regarding work and the ideal worker is a key strategy to creating a fertile milieu for a successful work/life program. (Miller,1997).

“Even the most progressive approach to work/life balance will fail without strong commitment from management and a culture that supports it. To truly impact the work and personal lives of employees, organizations must stop viewing work/life benefits as an accommodation. Rather, they should look at the benefits as strategic business initiatives that drive culture change throughout the organization. A work/life strategy will be successful only when it's embedded in the culture of the company - it must be integrated into work practices and must be supported by a commitment from top management and training for managers” (Vincola, 1998, p. 72). Culture is about shared mental models or shared ways of how people perceive the world, what mental categories they use for sorting things out, how people emotionally react to what they perceive, and how they put value on things. Culture is about shared tacit ways of being, it reflects the deeper and more pervasive elements of group life, and it operates out of awareness thus people are often quite ignorant of the degree to which culture influences them until they encounter someone from a different culture. (Schein, 1994).

Visola (1998) outlined critical criteria for successful implementation of work/life programs in any organization. These criteria included the following: The work/life program

a) must be achieved in stages;
b) must involve long-range planning;
c) requires a change in attitudes and leadership style;
d) must relate to organizational goals and objectives; and
e) must be fully integrated with the rest of the organization’s human resources programs.

According to Vincola (1998) the first step of creating a work/life strategy is to gain commitment from senior management and then cascade that commitment throughout the entire management strata of the organization. Awareness and acceptance of family issues at the top is the best starting point. One way for senior-level managers to demonstrate their support for the programs is to solicit input from employees at all levels. “After senior management sets the tone for open commentary, putting work/life concerns on the table as legitimate issues for discussion turns out to be liberating for all who are involved. Employees can examine their own assumptions, and determine which ones support and which ones impede the achievement of both personal and business goals. Without visible support from the top, work/family efforts can quickly be crippled. CEOs need to commit publicly to supporting the initiatives. Companies that truly entrench the initiatives into the corporate culture integrate family support into the business itself” (Vincola, 1998, p. 73).

Jenner (1994) warned organizations to not lose their work/life initiatives if productivity or profits went down. “A true focus on work-family benefits requires management to go beyond written policies. Despite corporate downsizings and cost-cutting measures due to the recession, work-family benefits management is becoming increasingly important in reassuring employees during difficult times. While such benefits cost the company in the short-run, the firm will save in the long-run in terms of retention and morale. Some family-related benefits are either costless or nearly so. These include support groups, parenting seminars, job sharing, flexible time schedules and caregiver fairs. One area that needs more attention in this regard is eldercare. Employers must always evaluate the benefits of these programs using measures that indicate their bottom-line effects” (p. 19).

Issues created by Leaders and Managers

“Well-designed and effectively implemented Work/Family policies strengthen business by boosting productivity, by lowering costs through improved retention, reduced absenteeism, and lower levels of stress, and by enhancing worker commitment. Similarly, effective Work/Family policies, by enabling workers to fulfill their commitments to family, strengthen society and its capacity for sound patenting. In turn, this improves educational outcomes and future workforce skills”(Larson, 1998, p.1).

Work/family programs are increasingly being introduced in companies that are trying to respond to the changing nature and needs of the work force, particularly working parents. Unfortunately, despite the proliferation of such programs, very few succeed in transforming themselves into truly family-friendly organizations. One major reason for the failure of family/life initiatives is the resistance of mid-level managers and supervisors who view the flexibility of the programs as a threat to their authority, and as unnatural ways of conducting business. Organizations that want their work/life programs to succeed should implement three major cultural changes. The first is teaching managers and leaders to be sensitive to work and family conflict issues. The second necessary change is to encourage leaders to take responsibility for meeting work and family organizational goals. The final change is soliciting the support of senior management to exert influence on middle managers to support work/life initiatives (Reagan, 1994). “There are several ways to help managers deal more effectively with these problems by having them institute a variety of training approaches. These approaches include education about the demographic and social trends taking place in today's work force, case studies, problem-solving exercises, group discussions of common experiences, interactive techniques (such as role playing and improvisation), presentations on management skills and many other types of training” (p. 35).

Leader Responsibility

Vincola and Mobley (1998a) wrote “The traditional workplace has vanished. Flexible work arrangements, tele-commuting, changing attitudes toward the employer/employee relationship, and increased competition for an educated and trained workforce has prompted companies to take a closer look at the impact of work/life initiatives. And with good reason. Studies show that work/life initiatives are a powerful tool to motivate people and encourage commitment to achieving business objectives” (p. 1). The authors went on to caution leaders that work/life programs cannot exist in a vacuum. The secret to making virtual offices, flextime policies, and so on effective and productive is to build a foundation based on competency-based hiring. Competencies are job blueprints that identify the critical characteristics, the specified skills, knowledge, and behaviors that lead to outstanding job performance and the achievement of organizational goals and objectives. The more complex the job, the more important the competencies must be.

Organizations that have embraced a work/life philosophy into their corporate culture are doing so by linking individual skills with organizational competencies within their performance management systems. This approach encourages them to better manage the pooled talent toward achieving business goals by enabling employees to take charge of their own career. Competency-based performance management systems become the cornerstone of an overall staff development process that includes hiring and selection, development and career planning, coaching and mentoring, all with a focus toward organizational objectives. Organizations can gauge the effectiveness of work/life programs in two contexts: employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction. This approach is based on the ““value chain”” which supports the link between work/life initiatives and performance management in that happy employees catalyze happy customers. If you have a work environment where employees are happy, productive, and satisfied (the work/life balance), and are clear in what is expected of them (performance management), then the overall goals of the organization should be attained (measurement results) (Vincola & Mobley, 1998a; Vincola & Mobley, 1998b).

“Can we take up the challenge and provide the kind of integration that is necessary for America's future, where employees are empowered to make decisions according to the needs of both work and outside commitments; where employers are empowered to provide an environment that supports the integrated goals of productivity, family, and community?” (Radcliffe Public Policy Center, 1999, p. i). Beinetti (1992) correlated the recent surge in work/life style programs targetted for executives with the opportunity to help leaders to truly recognize the benefits of these programs for all organizational members. “Spouse programs are being introduced in more organizations as part of an attempt to lower the stress levels of executives who are usually burdened with additional work as their companies downsize. Companies are starting to recognize that total leadership can only be achieved after executives have successfully attained a good balance between their personal lives and their professional lives” (Beinetti, 1992, p. 24).

Madigan (1999) offered an unique view of leadership and how it fit into the 21st century organization. “At its core, leadership is the ability of individuals and groups to transcend their limited circumstances and to actualize their creative potential. It is a fundamental capacity of all human beings, which cuts across disciplines, levels, and differences. Leadership is the ability to see the transient ephemeral nature of thought, to not entertain negative, limited, or personal thought, and to allow higher order thoughts, insight, wisdom, and common sense to occur spontaneously through one. It is seeing past a fixed and limited view of reality, seeing past the content of thought, to the unlimited infinite potential of experience. Leadership is the view from the mountaintop, the mile-high view, which is the basis for strategic decision making, effective listening, bringing out the best in people, teamwork, creativity, responsiveness, economy of means, and high level effectiveness. Leadership is the ability to be responsive simultaneously to multiple circumstances, to inspire self and others to greatness, to be willing not to know and to look to the unknown for what is not yet known, and to get to the heart of the matter and do what makes a difference” (p.1).

Mathis (1999) addressed the highly stressed personal lives that the majority of leaders and managers experience. He paralleled the hardship and role conflict of administrative personnel with front-line employees. “People need nurturing and a sense of belonging as never before. We all want personal stability in a time of increasing uncertainty and change. The involvement of family in our planning eliminates obstacles, reduces crises, and positively reinforces a personal direction. Real family planning occurs when family members dream and plan realistically about their future, recognizing the pleasures of living together. Many families set aside time for regular monthly sessions or "council meetings" so each member may individually express his or her wants and needs and the family can make plans accordingly” (p. 7).

For organizations, using career intelligence means providing a work environment that is more psychologically compatible with human needs for belonging and community, as well as learning and challenge - to create what can be called a life-friendly organization (Moses, 1997). Moses (1997) made several recommendations for leaders and managers to consider to enhance the work-life climate in the organizational workplace. These suggestions included: a) make change as safe as possible; b) don’t make promises you can not keep; c) inspire loyalty and provide opportunities for belonging; d) support staff in balancing their work and personal lives; e) appreciate the individual; f) be generous with your feedback; g) provide portfolio-building experiences; h) treat people like individuals; i) do not impose your own values on employees; j) be creative in thinking about career development; k) display optimism and model enthusiasm and l) be a career promoter. “Work and Family can be as significant a vehicle for improving company performance as Quality. Getting similar results, however, requires a shift in our thinking about employees. Restructuring or right-sizing, another widely embraced strategy to boost shareholder value, has resulted in significant loss of jobs. I believe we've reached the right-size point. To move forward, we must truly see employees as assets” (Larson, 1998, p.1).

This means that a properly-designed system should be in place to provide a well-founded base and program structure. In establishing such a system, the objectives of the company for giving service programs related to work-and-family issues should be considered. The intent should be used as a guide in designing and implementing the system. Once the intent is defined, the designing of the system can be started. This system should have four key components: planning, promotion/education, operation and evaluation/outcomes. To maximize value for both the employer and employees, the system needs a proactive role that anticipates employees' ever-changing needs. The company should view its program as an ongoing and internal part of employee development, both personal and professional. To borrow a key concept from the managed care industry, providing individual case management would position the programs for optimum effectiveness and usage. (Ansel, 1993).

Moses examined a number of successful work-life programs in various organizations. The most successful ones could statistically substantiate their effectiveness and welcomed acceptance by employees. The most valuable ones included:

a) Flexible work arrangements, including flexible work hours, "compressed" work weeks, part-time work, job sharing and telecommuting (home to office, client's office to office, satellite office to office)
b) Opportunities for personal or educational leave and sabbaticals.
c) Tuition support or reimbursement of costs associated with continuing education.
d) On-site daycare and eldercare centers or subsidy of off-site care; paid care for evening stints.
e) Paid nursing care for sick dependants.
f) Extended maternity and paternity leave, both paid or unpaid.
g) Schedules set by the employees themselves, to match work demands with personal needs
h) Job-sharing arrangements.
g) Counseling programs on childcare and eldercare.
h) Nutritionally balanced takeout meals from the cafeteria.
i) Wellness centers, available for employees and their partners and dependants.
j) Information sessions (lunchtime, evenings, weekends) for employees and their families, on life planning and wellness issues such as parenting, aging and retirement planning.
k) Training of managers and supervisors and follow-up auditing to ensure that managers support and promote these practices.


Leaders and managers need education and encouragement to allow sanction and support for work/life programs and in resolving work/life conflict. “Employees have been struggling to forge the link between career and work/life and progressive companies are helping them solidify this link. Companies are realizing that helping their employees recognize a longterm view of work/life planning that integrates the needs of both the individual and the company makes good sense for the company and the employee. These are the companies that will be the real winners in the next century” (Vincola & Farren, 1999, p. 13).


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