This edition of Sparked was published and delivered on April 28th, 2023.

Sparked is Fired Up! Culture’s bi-weekly email newsletter focused on what drives culture and engagement in the workplace. This newsletter is for leaders who are ready to get intentional about bringing their team together, building engagement, and harnessing the power of culture to drive results.

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Spark your Team by Empowering Them to Fully Disconnect

Anyone else ready for summer?

I bet your team is too.

And as the calendar turns to May, if they haven’t already, your team members are going to start requesting time off for their summer vacation plans. 

Want to know one of the best ways to keep your team engaged? Keep them fresh. Give them the opportunity, time, space, and support to fully disconnect from the job. 

Did you know that 49% of people report that they work at least one hour per day while on vacation?

Hmm, is that really time off?

While being plugged in “away from the job,” the opportunity to disconnect, decompress, rest, and rejuvenate is missed and the chance for burnout builds.

For your Consideration

Have you considered what expectations exist for your team members while on vacation?

Do those expectations enable and support team members to disconnect and truly get a break?

As we often cover in Sparked, expectations are set by the actions of the leaders within the organization. What example are you setting for you team?

Are you online and moving work forward while you’re on vacation? 

Are you responsive and checking in?

Are you fully disconnecting?

Have you considered how your actions influence the expectations for your team members as they consider how to approach their upcoming time off? 

Take Action to Enable the Opportunity to Disconnect

How can we enable those around us with the opportunity and permission to disconnect during their time off?

  • Model the Standard: Building explicit and implied expectations starts with the actions of leaders. Model the standard that you want to see from your team members. They will follow your lead. When it’s your time to step away from the office, realize that your actions set the tone for the rest of your team. 
  • Ensure Staff Coverage: When a team member takes time off, the work still has to get done. Encourage your team members to plan their time off well in advance. Have a policy in place to limit multiple team members with the same capabilities from being gone at the same time. This way, folks can cover for each other when someone is away.
  • Prep, Prep, and Prep More Than you Think you Have to: Taking time off to fully disconnect can be a lot of work, but it is absolutely worth it. Preparation is key when delegating tasks to others. The better the prep, the more likely it is that someone can fully disconnect. 
  • Have a Back-up Plan: If there’s an emergency, what’s the plan if someone absolutely has to be contacted and disrupted? Plan beforehand and be clear about what constitutes a real emergency.   

Further Exploration on Vacation Time