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Fishers, Indiana, United States
Brenda gained career expertise as a human resources leader at a global company before becoming an HR consultant. Her functional experience includes a variety of sales roles in the health care industry achieving success for over 30 years. She is currently in Consulting & Analytics Business Development for a health care firm. Her passion is participating in, writing about and observing the evolving workforce. For the first time in history four generations work together. It keeps things interesting. Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) are redefining retirement and what it means to age in the workforce. It is not just about money. Okay it plays a role! At 76.4 million members strong, Boomers are leveraging technology to continue their careers and the personal fulfillment working brings. Managing a late-stage career requires a strategy. There is no roadmap or one size fits all answer. This blog is about sharing, networking & finding your own right answer to working later, managing your career, redefining retirement, looking for work in your 50s & 60s and reinventing yourself.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

It's Time for Your Vacation

Vacations, whether home-based or involving travel are important components to work/life balance, productivity and relieving work-related stress. A few days off to move children into their dorm at college or to help your parents relocate to a retirement community don’t count as vacations. Time away from work that includes checking business e-mail and voicemail multiple times a day doesn’t count as vacation either.
According to a Vacation Deprivation Survey, U.S. employees reported “feeling rested and rejuvenated after vacation as well as reconnected with their families.” 34% of employees in the survey stated they return to work feeling better about their jobs and more productive at work. According to a 2013 survey by SHRM, the Society of Human Resource Management, vacations affect employee morale, wellness, performance, retention, productivity and office culture.
I reported to a Sr. Vice-President with the attitude that if your department couldn’t function without their leader for five days, you needed to replace your managers and supervisors. Interesting Perspective!
Forward-thinking companies encourage their employees to recharge their batteries by implementing “use it or lose it” vacation policies. Companies also “cap” or limit the amount of vacation carry-over or pay-out for unused time off in an effort to keep their high-performers at optimal productivity.
There are many reasons managers resist taking time off and most of them are revealing. Here are a few examples:
1.       The “live-to-work” manager who doesn’t own the business. There’s a fine line between at-work martyrs who feel guilty unless they log more hours than their peers and goes on ad nauseam about it and a workaholic.
2.       The “arsonist manager” constantly is on the telephone putting out fires mostly caused by (guess who?).
3.       The “micro-manager” is prevalent in middle management. At the heart of this manager’s reluctance to miss a minute of work is F-E-A-R. Take a deep sniff; you can smell it. This is the manager who can’t miss a telephone call or an e-mail and they are in your workspace to make sure you don’t miss one either.
4.       The “I-AM- My Work” Boss. This is the manager defined by their work. Within moments of meeting any one the, “what do you do for a living” question is blurted out. A week without life-affirming work spells a near death experience.
Individual contributors can also exhibit similar traits, but it is more damaging for managers because they create and control the culture of their work unit. So take a few days off. Recharge your batteries. Reclaim your life outside work and more than anything, Have Fun!

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