If You Love Them, Set Them Free
Updated: Aug 25
Isn’t it rare to find a team that respects their time off as much as they respect the days at work? Over time, these are the companies that people choose to work with. It is a decision driven not by money or motive, but by that elusive parameter that so many companies try hard, and fail, to get right- satisfaction.
Recently, we met someone who wanted to take up an exciting new opportunity but didn’t have to quit her job.
“Just last month, I took time off for personal reasons, and yet, when I wanted to take up this project, they were happy to let me be.” She was a full-time designer and the freelance project would allow her to work on new product launch and a new software tool. The company was wise enough to see it as a trusted team member picking up valuable new skills.
Developing Engaged Employees
Who is an engaged employee? Is it someone who spends ten working hours every day and agrees to come in on Sundays too? Is it that employee who is always eager to please? In the simplest of terms, an engaged employee is one who always delivers. These are people who appreciate their role in the company and see what their absence means to the team. They do this because they have been given an opportunity to be present to something else, to live an alternative life. Setting Them Free Whether you are managing baby-boomers or GenX or millennials, everyone is now working in a world of opportunities. The gig economy is appealing, especially when you are tied down to one employer. So, if you genuinely love and care for your employees, it is time to take the leap of faith.
Give them paid leave. Make it mandatory to take time off. Encourage them to blog about their experience.
Provide opportunities for learning. Learning can happen in the same domain as work, or it could be radically different such as a guitar class.
Let them travel. A millennial employee thrives on travel and exploration. Let them take time off as long as their targets are met.
Offer workshops. Give them chances at work to learn something new and apply it to their lives.
Host an open-mic. Dedicate a day every month just for people to show off their inner superheroes. The results may surprise you.
Help them manage their money. Perhaps no other generation is introduced to adulthood with as much debt and inflation as the current one. Show them ways to help their money grow.
Tend to their relationships. Employees often have a family or friends waiting for their time. Every annual day and PTA is important. Value those relationships. Find ways to make their families and pets(!) a part of the work equation.
Let them work on other projects. As long as their pursuits outside of work don’t interfere with your delivery schedule or work confidentiality, let them work and earn outside of employment. We all need to hustle on the side in today’s times.
Have any of you tried this already? Would love to know how it’s worked out for you. Horror stories included!