CIB holds health summit toward maintaining work-life balance

CIB holds health summit toward maintaining work-life balance

The Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIB) has held its health summit, dubbed ‘Maintaining work life balance for banking professionals’, to improve a positive working life among workers in Accra.

Speaking at the summit, Psychologist and Public Health Specialist Vivian Aubyn explained that work-life balance is the ability to experience a sense of control and stay productive and competitive at work while maintaining a happy healthy home life with sufficient leisure.

She said even though ensuring a balanced work-life seems like a myth to a lot of workers, it is possible to achieve when organisations also lay down measures to ease the process.

Ms. Aubyn emphasised that while on an individual level workers must set priorities for work and home, cultivate good relationships, ask for help when the need be and cultivate emotional intelligence, the role of the organisation in attaining a balance cannot be underestimated.

She therefore charged organisations to consciously promote positive work culture, flexible working times, provide clarity on organisational objectives, structures and strategies at the workplace in order to boost productivity and maintain a balanced working life among workers.

She added that leadership and communication is also a key influence on balancing a work life, and organisations must pay very much attention to this; and also sometimes there is a lack of organisational rules and policies to support work-life balance, hence organisations must develop some of these programmes and rules to support work life balance.

Robert Dzato, a Chartered Banker and Financial Services Strategy and Operations Lead at KPMG, moderated the plenary session to discuss the presentation and theme. Discussants in the plenary session were Fiifi Brandful, a Retired Chartered Banker; Joan Apedo, a Chartered Banker and Chief Executive Officer of Pure Eden Microfinance; Isaac Annan, a Human Resource executive; and Dr. Bediako Agyemang, a Medical Practitioner.

Fiifi Brandful reiterated that maintaining a work life balance is an achievable reality that needs a conscious effort on the individual level to strike a balance. “With or without you, the organisation will move on; your role is needed but the organisation will definitely move on. Hence, take personal responsibility for your welfare; and as you work hard, prioritise your welfare as well,” he said.

He also encouraged that leaders should learn how to trust subordinates, train and supervise them as well as delegate power or duty, as he believes this will reduce workload, enhance productivity and buy enough time for everyone.

Joan Apedo also noted that people fight the reality of inability to be balanced in their minds, and for that matter the need to take practical steps for changing the mindset – and also take deliberate and strategic approach to be balanced. She added that in the attempt to achieve personal goals, the act of planning is key.

From the Human Resource perspective, Isaac Annan opined that work life balance when not there can negatively impact work output and productivity; hence, following the COVID-19 pandemic, many HR departments have put in place initiatives to ensure balance. He mentioned initiatives such as maternal leave and paternal leave to ensure a balance between work and the family, and also initiatives that allow workers to take leave to rest and rejuvenate themselves.

He advised that companies must adapt to the Employee Assistant Programme (EAP) – a work-based intervention programme designed to assist employees in resolving personal problems that may be adversely affecting their performance.

Dr. Bediako Agyemang also urged workers to be mindful of their health and always make sure to have enough sleep, exercise and eat well. “We always say time is money; its true, but to get money with a collateral damage is not advisable.  By all means stretch and make money, but take notice of your health,” he said.

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