Workaholism is losing its coolness

Written by Kim Shiffman

Unless you want resentful, disengaged and stressed employees, you’d better help them balance their work and personal priorities.

Such is the conclusion of a Canadian study published last month by Desjardins Financial Security, the largest integrated cooperative financial group in Canada.

The survey of 1,508 Canadians revealed that family, honesty and good health are the values most important to Canadians—while work and money were among the least important.

What’s more, the “workaholic” label is slowly but surely losing its lustre. Although many Canadian workers used to brag about working long hours and being tremendously dedicated to their jobs, today almost 80% of workers do not consider themselves workaholics.

“Despite the general perception that work is increasingly defining us, this study shows that Canadians’ priority is still their family,” says Dr. David Goldbloom, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto.

Although companies are implementing programs to promote work-life balance, such as formalized flex-time and telecommuting, some 65% of Canadians feel that their values at their workplace are not in tune with their personal values. Just 25% say their workplace “walks the talk” when it comes to balance.

What does this mean for employers? “With the war for talent in Canada escalating, employers cannot afford to ignore the needs of their employees,” says Alain Thauvette, senior vice-president of group and business insurance at Desjardins. “Employers who tune their workplace policies and culture to complement and support employee values will attract the best and brightest talent.” Entrepreneurs should strongly consider surveying their staff to determine where they might be falling short in the area of balance. This practice could boost your bottom line; mentally healthy employees are more productive and have fewer absences than their stressed-out, disengaged counterparts.

Originally appeared on PROFITguide.com