As published on Forbes.com
Before you take off on that vacation you’re planning, consider these risks associated with the trip. You’ve been working hard. When you return from your vacation, you might feel rejuvenated, refreshed and full of creative ideas. You might be more productive, and a better spouse, parent and employee. If you come back from vacation as a fully-engaged professional consider how that might reflect on your coworkers and customers. Stop being so self-centered. Is a vacation really worth it?
As Shelly Dutton mentioned in her article:
“Employees are tired of sacrificing so much of their lives for their employers. They want a better way to balance work, family, and a sense of personal purpose. In fact, 70% of workers in the U.S. – and 87% of workers worldwide – are not fully engaged and personally invested in their work.”
Of course, if you are guilty of criminal behavior, then don’t take vacation. Many white-collar criminals get caught when they are on vacation.
Why Vacations Matter
In my business trends article for 2015, I shared trend #8: Recruiting With Work/Life Balance. I noted that savvy companies will realize that people matter. Driving them into the ground is not a good long-term strategy. Successful companies will develop innovative ways to improve employee well-being leading to better retention and happier customers, too.
Seek Remarkable Experiences
I had the pleasure of sharing the stage with Joey Coleman in Denver earlier this month. “It’s tough to deliver a remarkable experience if you have never had one yourself,” says Coleman, who gets engaged by top companies to design amazing experiences for clients and employees in the first 100 days. Joey encourages CEOs and entrepreneurs to provide remarkable experiences for their employees. He says after the experience, discuss what made it remarkable and how to create something similarly memorable for your customers.
It’s tough to know whether happy customers or happy employees cause the other to be happy. One thing is certain, where you find one, you will typically find the other.
Think Beyond Conventional
There are many great tips for enjoying a vacation even if you are an entrepreneur who doesn’t think you can take a vacation. Some employers not only encourage meaningful vacations, they enforce the rule that employees must remain disconnected while on vacation.
At LT Business Dynamics, they provide three weeks of sabbatical after each three years of employment. The company actually disables the employee’s email access the day their vacation begins, and does not reactivate access until their return. Founder and CEO, Tim Hawkins, says:
“We setup our sabbatical program to engage their minds. Traveling is an important part of that. We give them the time and money to make a difference in the world and their lives. They become better people. You hired great people, it makes sense to invest in them to retain them.”
When the employee returns from sabbatical, they are required to bring something to the office that represents their trip, and share the details with co-workers and clients. They come back from their disconnected vacation energized and ready to jump back into work. This program serves not only as a great retention tool, but a great way to recruit new talent. Their clients know that the high-quality team is not going to leave anytime soon. It is so valuable, that they share the details on their website.
Not Just Balance – Well Rounded
The notion of work-life balance is highly overrated. But, when you disconnect, broaden your horizons, and experience new things, you become a greater asset to your company and clients. Avoid simply taking the same vacation every year (no matter how much you enjoy it). Many people tell me that they cannot get away because they have too many things to do. Rest assured that when you take time to recharge your (metaphorical) batteries, you return fully charged and able to use your capabilities to their fullest extent.
It’s Your Turn
When has a vacation helped you to develop something remarkable? Take the discussion to Twitter or LinkedIn and share your thoughts.