During the recent Memorial Day holiday weekend, it hit me just how important it is to kick back, recharge your batteries, and to be thankful that we live in the best country in the world.
As I reflect on the time off I and other business professionals were able to take, I am reminded how important it is to take time off, and how important vacations are in this “I want it now” society we live in. My question to you is, do you take time off? Do you make it easy for your employees to take time off?
As a society, we put too much stress and anxiety on ourselves to be the best we can be at all times. Anyone who knows me is aware that I believe in what I call “Over The Top Performance,” which is all about being the best we can at what we do. The truth is, that’s what makes taking time off so important. No one can be his or her best when they are run down, overwhelmed at work, or just plain wore out.
I think of it like this: people are like rubber bands. If we get wound too tight, we not only lose our effectiveness, we snap and become useless. As more is put on you, or the more pressure you put on yourself, you will eventually snap just like that rubber band and not be at your best.
Vacations or at least taking a long weekend are key to managing life-killing stress and anxiety. Companies talk all the time about their employees being their most valuable asset and I couldn’t agree more. But employees who are not allowed to get away from work to unwind will soon unravel.
Throughout my career, I’ve coached many company management teams. I tell them to force their employees to take time off, mostly reminding them of what they already know, which is that time off will help their employees perform better when they are on the job when they are given the chance to relax away from the job. High-performing employees are good for everyone involved, including the company’s bottom line.
Conversely, if an employee is strung so tight that they even get close to a breaking point, both the company and the employee lose out.
How can I make this work in my business?
Obviously, we have our employees to help grow and manage our business and absences can create holes in productivity—if we let it. The truth is, whether it’s pre-planned or time off or an emergency, we as managers need to know how to manage our business without a full crew. As prudent managers, we need to be prepared in case an employee is not able to handle his or her duties.
Do you have a strategic plan in place, or some structure set up for if an employee is not longer able to perform (even if it’s simply because they are on vacation)? Here is where one of my foundational principles comes in. The 5Ps stand for Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.
5 Reasons companies should encourage their employees to take time off
- It forces company management to have a written plan for emergencies or to have employees gone.
- It relieves stress and anxiety for the employee. Even a simple staycation where you just destress can help.
- It helps everyone keep their sanity. By taking a step back, employees and even their employers can see an entire situation better and clearer.
- It makes the personal life better for the whole family, including the spouse and kids. We all know the saying “If mama isn’t happy no body is happy”. Let’s keep all spouses happy in the home! Professional studies show that when the adults in the home reduce stress, it’s good for everyone.
- It helps clear the employee’s head and allows them to come back ready to work with a new attitude full of energy and a head full of ideas.
Vacations promote OTTP
I’ve already said it but I’m going to say it again. Overall, time off is good for the employee and good for the company management. It gives both sides a break, time to recharge, and time off lets the employee be ready to come back to work and make good things happen. That’s the epitome of Over The Top Performance.