Setting realistic performance goals is something every manager can—and should—achieve, according to a recent Gallup poll, as it’s actually a better predictor of work-life balance than having flexible work arrangements.
Among full-time U.S. employees, workers who strongly agree that they have realistic performance goals are 2.4 times more likely to also strongly agree that they have a healthy work-life balance.
To accomplish this, managers should include employees in the goal-setting process, which creates a sense of autonomy. Employees who say their manager includes them in goal-setting are 2.3 times more likely to say their performance goals are realistic. Meanwhile, employees who know the consequences of not meeting their performance goals are more than twice as likely to say their goals are realistic.
These findings show that work-life balance isn’t just about having permission to leave early on Fridays; it’s about feeling some control and ownership over the work you do. This is good news for industries that simply can’t allow flexible hours or remote work opportunities.