One of our team had just returned from an invigorating vacation when a phone call came in which might have irritated him. Instead, his response could have resulted in a graceful de-escalating master class. When I think of the value of recharging, this is the moment that comes to mind.
When employees have the opportunity to fully rejuvenate, it benefits them as human beings, which is a worthwhile goal in and of itself. As the holidays approach, it’s time to call attention to the fact that recharging is also a business necessity.
When our batteries are low, we are more likely to perceive a “level 5” problem as a “level 10” problem. When we step up our response accordingly, the perception becomes reality and the problem becomes bigger than it should be. When we are more grounded, on the other hand, and less restless, our immediate responses to challenges come from a much better place. We are able to exercise the restraint, diplomacy and creative thinking necessary to sidestep problems and devise quick and intelligent solutions that are mutually satisfactory. We are more likely to build bridges than to burn them down.
Extinction of burnout
Call it the big resignation, the big reset, the big reshuffle or the big departure: whatever the label, it’s clear that employee burnout is a huge factor behind the unprecedented exodus of employees. American workers from their jobs. Burnout impacts everything from productivity to retention to cybersecurity.
This holiday season crowns a year that has been extremely stressful for many businesses, families and individuals. While some professionals barely have time to catch their breath at the end of December, let alone a break – those in the tourism, hospitality and retail sectors spring to mind – others have a rare opportunity. enterprise-wide to exhale and rejuvenate.
OC Tanner Institute Research shows that modern leaders – those who coach, coach, advocate and value their employees, as opposed to a more distant, hierarchical approach – are more likely to inspire their employees to produce great work. Modern leaders empower employees and connect their employees with a sense of purpose and accomplishment.
Modern leaders also understand that the imperative to take a break begins at the top. A modern leader can model recharge by sending a note to the whole team outlining their own plans and stressing that they will not be checking their emails (although they will be reachable by cell phone in an emergency. ). Or they could invite employees to view Monday, Jan. 3 as an official “catch-up day,” where anyone can respond to the inevitable email backlog, preserving every precious minute of vacation time.
Tips for recharging
In an “always on” culture, we don’t always know How? ‘Or’ What reload. Here are some tips that have come in handy over the years:
Set vacation goals. It seems counterintuitive, but this Harvard Business Review article argues that when people are intentional about what they want to accomplish while on vacation, they are more likely to make the most of their free time.
If you’re on the fence, take an extra day. When we are well rolled up, it may take a little longer to relax. Personally, I am extending my vacation until January 3 to spend more time with my family. I suspect this decision will improve my ability to produce great work from January 4th.
Take note of what recharges you. My vacations will be devoted to time spent with family, but I find that time alone, in nature, fly fishing for example, is also particularly restorative. So I’m going to make it my duty to slip away for a few moments, at least to do some quick winter walks.
Previously, executives expected employees to perform their best at work, regardless of what was going on at home. Modern leaders understand that this is unrealistic. We are the same human beings at home as in the office (and the rise of the hybrid workplace erased the distinction between home office again). When employees take a real, full, and restorative break from office life this holiday season, support them in that decision. You will be glad you did.