We know you may not need any proposal of assessment tools.

But business and work – family balance efforts cannot be guided by chance: decisions should be based on the latest and best knowledge of actually works.

The basic idea of this evidence-based approach is that good-quality decisions should be based on a combination of critical thinking and the best available evidence. Although all management practitioners use evidence in their decisions, many pay little attention to the quality of that evidence. Or the evidence is not generated in the company: decisions are made in industry’s statistics that not necessarily are applicable to your company.

A first step to avoid that gap is to analyze the situation through a simple research model.

A situation analysis or environmental analysis involves a systematic collection and study of data and other contextual information in order to identify and understand the current social challenges and issues to be addressed. A complete situation analysis gathers information on four areas: the challenge, the people involved, the context, the factors inhibiting or facilitating change.

Situation analysis steps:

Identify the challenge or issue: you can use your financial, human resources management systems, market information, etc. to identify challenges or issues that should be solved or adjusted. In the case of work – life balance issues, a progressive reduction in an employee’s performance could be an indicator there is something problematic to be addressed.

Develop an issue/ problem statement: try to answer the Ws questions (who, what, when, where). And develop a problem statement that could be discussed with your team.

Draft a shared vision: a vision provides a picture of what the situation will look like when the adaptive effort is completely successful and will improve strategic achievements.

Conduct a review: review the vision and problem statements and divide them up into concepts. Foster employees’ participation. Develop a list of keywords related to those concepts. Brainstorm additional synonyms and related keywords for each concept. These keywords will be the search terms used to find relevant literature.

Review and organize the data: Focus only on information that will help the project team address the problem and avoid including information that is not as relevant.

Analyze the data and summarize the findings: Look closely at the information collected. A good way to summarize the findings is to write a situation analysis report, which can be shared with the larger project team and relevant stakeholders.

Fill the existing gaps: focus group discussions and in-depth interviews with employees can help fill any information gaps that remain after the desk review.

Once you clarified the challenge or issue you will approach, you need to determine if it is a technical or adaptive challenge.
The first one could be solved based on company’s knowhow and procedures.
The adaptives require a creative process that requires:

  •         identifying the people and groups that will be involved in the matter,
  •         selecting the employees that could be approached effectively and with efficiency,
  •         developing the change management program,
  •         evaluating and learning from results.

In the next units we will offer to you insights about two models that are used by companies to develop integrated management processes that promote work – life balance.