We all need time away to recharge our batteries and momentarily forget what we are currently working on. Ensuring that your employees are taking their personal time is important not only for their sanity, but for the betterment of the department and organization that they support. Organizations evolve positively when employees focus on the day-to-day tactical and operational tasks, and also when they provide creative and passionate solutions or ideas to the opportunities and challenges facing the organization. Without this creativity and passion for work, employees will start ignoring and resenting their responsibilities. As leaders in your organization, there is an important tool in your management tool belt for helping an employee retain their passion and creativity for their role – encouraging them to use their personal time.
6 Reasons Your Employees Should Use Their Personal Time And Why It’s Best For The Company
1. Reduces stress and fatigue – As we continue to heap more and more responsibilities upon our staff, the instances and rates of reported stress and fatigue will continue to climb for employers. Instead of paying for the consequences of higher stress and fatigue in the workplace – which can be seen through increased medical treatments, downtime and lost productivity – wouldn’t your organization be better off encouraging employees to take their personal time and not focus on anything work related during their personal leave?
2. Increases creativity and productivity – On a personal level, I feel my most creative, and productive, after I’ve had some time to decompress and recharge my batteries. Employees can come up with new, exciting and game changing ideas when they are rested, relaxed and having fun in their role. When was the last time you heard of someone coming up with a “brilliant” idea when they were under pressure and stressed out?
3. Allows for cross-training amongst team members – You never know when an employee might be out of the office for an extended period of time. While working for one client, we had a key employee who needed to take an extended leave of absence from the firm. The transition of work from one team member to another was very smooth because the team had been use to cross training and “covering” for one another while each team member took their personal leave. Without previous cross training opportunities, the department would have been lost when the employee had to take an unexpected leave of absence.
4. Reminder, there is no “I” in team –There is an old saying in the National Football League (NFL) – no one is above the game. Like the New England Patriots, who exhibit a next man up mentality when dealing with injuries, your organization must remember no one employee makes or breaks an organization. The overall success of your company comes down to the contributions of all team members working together toward a common goal.
5. Opportunity for management to model the way – Whether we do so consciously, or unconsciously, we all tend to model behaviors our managers exhibit. If your managers take their personal time and come back to the office ready to put forth their best effort, and that best effort is apparent because of the time off they have taken, more than likely, direct reports will take notice and imitate the behavior.
6. Ability to balance life and work – It feels good working for a company that allows you to balance your personal and professional lives. While technology has blurred the lines between these two lives, one way to get that balance back is to take personal time to address areas that need attending to.
Your employees’ personal time should be used for rest and relaxation. That means encouraging your staff to turn off their work phone and e-mail while they are out of the office. Forget about the weekly report that’s due promptly at 5:00 PM every Tuesday. Unless a key client is leaving for a competing firm, or a four alarm fire is burning your company HQ down, most issues can wait for their return. At the end of the day, most of us aren’t performing brain surgery as part of our day-to-day responsibilities…and even brain surgeons need a break once in a while.