All good managers know that the more engaged your employees, the more likely they are to be loyal and to do better work. They’ll interact with team members more creatively and be more willing to adapt to change.
But the question remains: How do you help encourage that very admirable goal of engagement? There are benefits and salary, of course, but there must be more to it so that people feel their very best and bring their very best to the office.
Using Sabbaticals to Engage Employees
One way that more businesses could take advantage of to encourage engagement is the use of sabbaticals. Sabbaticals are not a vacation; rather, it’s a more extended period of time away from paid work that allows employees to reset, to reconnect, or pursue an interest or activity, such as a trip. There are all sorts of ways to structure sabbaticals; this graphic offers some insights.
Your employees are probably not taking enough time off. In fact, while employees are earning more time off, they’re still leaving a staggering amount of vacation time on the table: 662 million days in 2016. Do you offer sabbaticals?
What is a Sabbatical?
A sabbatical is a period away from work that you allow your employees to take. This time is generally unpaid and can last weeks or months, and at the end they normally either return to their position or to a similar job at the same level.
On sabbatical, you generally can’t perform paid work. Although some companies fully pay employees during their sabbaticals, others may minimise or freeze salaries, which means you have to plan ahead: To make the most of your sabbatical, you’ll either need to save, use your spouse’s income, or take out a personal loan to subsidise your extended time off.
This benefit may sound too good to be true, but it serves both the employee and the company. It helps stress-test the organisational chart and lets other employees take on responsibilities and more leadership. Most importantly, a sabbatical can rejuvenate your employee’s careers.
Learn more in the infographic below.