Sabbaticals WORK!

Posted on: Sunday, May 1st, 2011
Posted in: Sabbatical Shuffle, Blog | 4 comments

P1010552These days “career breaks” are getting the link love and lingo buzz.  But Sabbaticals haven’t gone away; they just quietly continue to let fortunate workers leave the building. For a while. One such lucky duck, Rita Foley, has had four—and wrote this triumphant article that does a superb job of summing up the benefits, including these big 5…

  • Creativity increases.

“I have granted sabbaticals to my employees, and I have seen the rise in creativity and benefits for customers and the corporation.”

  • Energy re-emerges.

“More than 100 companies that offer formal sabbatical programs have close to 100 percent of the sabbatical-takers returning to the company with a higher level of engagement, loyalty, motivation and appreciation for their employer.”

  • Employees need a tuneup.

“We tune up our PCs, cars and home heaters.  Why not encourage our people to give their minds and spirits a tuneup?”

  • It’s a good retention investment.

“The cost of hiring and training a new employee can be 1.5 times a departing worker’s salary.”

  • Collaboration happens.

“It is a chance to evaluate the potential of employees who stand in for others in a real, not hypothetical, situation.  Sabbaticals promote teamwork and better decision-making.”

In conclusion, Ms. Foley reminds us that 20% of the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work for offer fully paid Sabbaticals.  One of them is Intel, and they’re doing pretty okay.

While some of us might love to work for one of those firms—theoretically—the advantages of taking breaks hold up whether you work for Intel, Molly’s Quilting Boutique, or yourself.

Life is short.  Work is long.  The challenge—and solution—to running a successful career marathon is to stretch, breathe deep, and take a break now and then.

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4 Responses to “Sabbaticals WORK!”

  1. barbara pagano Says:

    Excellent re-cap on advantages companies can expect when they design a sabbatical program for their employees. Alignment with a current conversation within the company such as wellness, leadership bench strength or succession planning strengthens the premise of “career breaks.” And even without a company program, many individuals are successful negotiating their own sabbatical. Yes, it happens!

    Thanks for great information, Kirk.

  2. kirk Says:

    Thanks for your insights, Barbara. As employers start to feel more frisky again (we hope!), let’s also hope that career breaks become a smart part of their plans for success for EVERYONE involved.

  3. Richard Says:

    I think your list is a solid group of reasons for sabbaticals.

    I know I wasn’t able to take a sabbatical; so I ended up leaving my job in order travel. 7 years later and I’m still traveling the world:)

    If somebody wants to take an extended vacation, it’s wise to let them take it. They will be recharged and appreciate the company for letting them take the break. Otherwise, the desire to travel builds up, and you fall off the map like me:)

    Thanks for the great info!!!

  4. kirk Says:

    Hi Richard,

    And thanks for YOUR great info. As you say, “If someone wants to take an extended vacation, it’s wise to let them take it.” Travel and free time ARE wise, not crazy. And without it, many go crazy–not to mention postpone dreams, stay in unrewarding jobs, and pile up regrets. Congrats on your courage and 7 years of traveling the world. *kirk

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