Sunday, December 9, 2012
Need vacation ... Take it or leave ...
(And congratulations to the top 30 employers in our region honored for their commitment to their employees - see below)
“Rest when you're weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work.” – Robert Marston
Travel giant Expedia.com (www.expedic.com) reported that Americans are leaving two vacation days on the table and not taking all the days they earn. The average American workers receives 12 days vacation annually but only use 10 days.
Workplace experts have often reported that the most productive workers have strong work life balance and take time to energize. Of course, business conditions can affect the scheduling and duration of holidays and workers and management must and usually are reasonable in meeting the demands of both.
However, this is different – this is leaving days one earns on the table unused not because of schedules but another factor:
… Fear of their boss
… Fear of being cut
How sad this is. And this raises a bigger question: The question of culture in the workplace.
Experts are talking about how to handle this situation if it occurs on your job and in your company and these are good suggestions: Have an open discussion with your boss, schedule vacations far in advance and ask your boss for the best time to schedule, be cognizant of seasonal business needs and steer vacation requests away from them. Good ideas.
But I have a bigger question...
If this is the situation in your company and you are ruled by fear do you want to work there? It is the right culture for you to grow and succeed. Likely not.
No one can succeed if ruled under a veil of fear. That is old age management if it prevails. It is out of date. It is no longer acceptable.
But so, so common....
The recession allowed disenchanted companies to do things that have negatively affected employee loyalty to record percentages. Why ... because they could and did. Employees are feeling better about the economy and have stated looking for new jobs in droves. Some reports indicate that 81% of workers would leave their employer if a good opportunity surfaces, and over 68% are actively seeking new jobs right now. These numbers are huge.
Many are tired of fear. They took it on the chin during the recession and we cannot blame employers who were trying to hang on through one of the worst economic crisis we may ever see. A number of employers have begun to give back what they took. Others, frankly, have no intention – that is the new corporate culture unfortunately in many organizations where people are a commodity.
This is why it is so important now to not only find a job you are qualified for but as well, one that you “fit” into and in a company where the culture is conducive to learning, growing, succeed in and functions as a team. Many people love their jobs; they just hate the culture they work in. Companies change. Leadership changes. Culture changes as the result. But you know – many companies get it … right here in our backyard.
Congrats to our areas top employers …
Thirty companies were honored at a luncheon this past Friday produced by the Business Review (www.bizjournals.com/albany). The thirty represented employers in all sizes of companies who were honored for their workplace practices and the manner in which they treat their employees. The employees were a part of bestowing this honor so it also comes from the ranks. To see the list: http://www.bizjournals.com/albany/morning_call/2012/10/business-review-names-albany-areas.html?page=all
These 30 companies “get it”. They do not rule by fear. They grow their people. They should be models for other companies and I, as well as many more, salute them!
You can’t dance if your shoes don’t fit. You can’t grow with a thumb holding you down from the head.
Break out. Be all you can be. Never be disrespected. Do not live in fear.
And thank you for reading this. - Dan