Enjoy your vacation – and make sure others do too!

“Vacation time is a time for rest and renewal, giving people the opportunity to refresh the body, mind and spirit. When you take the time to refresh and rejuvenate, your physical body is better prepared to perform, the mind has more clarity and the spirit is allowed to function at a higher level.”

This quote comes from an article on good Human Resources retention practices – keeping your employees happy and working for you – on the new Charity Village website: Why managers should encourage staff to take vacations.  At Spectrum, we learned about the benefits of taking time off from our friend and business consultant Michael Walsh. It was the first thing he asked us to look at when we started reviewing Spectrum’s sustainability in 2005 – were people getting enough time off?  Were they rested and healthy and able to focus on their jobs when they were at work?

“Remember that vacation time is not simply a perk, it is a necessary break from the everyday stressors of an increased workload and constant thinking process.   Like a car, if we run our people for extended periods of time without attending to ongoing maintenance (vacation), they start to breakdown too. Vacation time is part of that ongoing maintenance for our body, mind and spirit, and without it people wear out, physically and mentally, and organizations pay the price dearly.”

In our wireless, connected world it can seem like we are at work 24 hours per day so it is important to have some time away from work where the cellphone is off and your mind can relax and focus on fun, friends and family.

Spectrum’s vacation scheduling policy and procedure was created to ensure employees could  schedule and plan their vacation reliably but it does have a significant amount of bureaucracy to it as well – with forms, submission deadlines, reviews and responses required.  At our next Policy and Procedures committee meeting on June 20th, 2012, we’ll review the vacation policy to ensure it best meets the needs of all employees.  Give your policy representative feedback on what you think works and doesn’t work with the current vacation policy.

For inspiration on what to do on your next vacation, consider some of the great vacations some of the people Spectrum supports have taken: Gary A loves to go camping in the south Okanagan each year.  He enjoys the river, the campfires and just getting away from it all.  Kathy T really enjoys the small town feel of Harrison Hot Springs – only an hour away from downtown, but you feel like you are in a different world.  Linda O saved up her bake sale profits to visit DollyWood – Dolly Parton’s amusement park in Tennessee.  She, her sister and a Spectrum staff (Sarah) had a great time exploring the world of Country Music.  If you are looking for more information on Spectrum’s role in assisting people to plan their vacations, that policy is linked here.

You can read the rest of the Charity Village article here, but in case you don’t, here’s the last sentence from the article – addressed to the managers who are reading this article to find out how to improve their team performance:

“And one last piece of advice: managers, remember, this applies to you as well!” [Ensure you take your vacation!]