Mini Sabbaticals Should Be Mandatory

Grocery Store

Accenture refused to layoff their employees when they hit a rough period because they didn’t want to go through a whole new batch of hiring and training. So they decided to pay the staff that they would have laid off 20% of their pay with benefits while they waited for the economy to bounce back. The catch was, they couldn’t work for a competitor. When the economy came back around they rehired the employees they couldn’t afford to keep.

“Accenture has a great solution for a temporary downturn,” said Bill Coleman, senior vice president of compensation at Salary.com. “You don’t lose the people you worked so hard to recruit and train, you’re not doing what everybody else does, you look terrific to those large alumni communities, and in some ways it’s really a loyalty-builder.”

This kept their employees happy and it also gave some of them a mini sabbatical. This made me think about the company I work for and the various incentives they offer to keep me happy. They don’t do enough, but what company really does?

I would like to take a sabbatical, and wouldn’t it be great if my company provided such a program as an incentive to stay with them. I believe all companies should offer mini sabbaticals to help with employee retention. I’m not talking about the normal time off that each company provides, but an additional incentive to keeping employees happy and motivated. So here is my idea…

5 Years

If you’ve been with a company for five years then you are eligible for a two week sabbatical. During that two week sabbatical the employee will be paid 20% of her/his salary. If the employee can show that the reason for their leave was work related and how it will improve the company then the company will pay 40% of the employee’s salary during those two weeks.

10 Years

If you’ve been with a company for ten years then you are eligible for a one month sabbatical. During that one month sabbatical the employee will be paid 40% of her/his salary. If the employee can show that the reason for their leave was work related and how it will improve the company then the company will pay 60% of the employee’s salary during that one month.

15 Years

If you’ve been with a company for fifteen years then you are eligible for a six week sabbatical. During that six week sabbatical the employee will be paid 60% of her/his salary. If the employee can show that the reason for their leave was work related and how it will improve the company then the company will pay 80% of the employee’s salary during those six weeks.

20 Years

If you’ve been with a company for twenty years then you are eligible for a two month sabbatical. During that two month sabbatical the employee will be paid 80% of her/his salary. If the employee can show that the reason for their leave was work related and how it will improve the company then the company will pay 100% of the employee’s salary during those two months.

Good Example

Ok, so lets say you’ve been with the marketing department of a grocery store chain for 15 years. You decide to use your sabbatical to travel the country to see the various marketing campaigns and advertising other grocery chains do to reach their customers. You come back with 15 good ideas. You write a plan on implementing 3 of them and present it to your manager. They are all quality ideas and for your effort you are rewarded 80% of your pay.

If that was me and I was given this flexibility to make my company better my loyalty would increase exponentially.

Why Mini Sabbaticals Should Be Implemented Today

Wouldn’t you take advantage of such a program? If you would break down your company’s cost of hiring and training employees each year this program would probably pay for itself in less than a few years. Your company would be sending the message to its employees that they want to help them to become successful, both at work and away from it.

Would you be more likely to stay with your company if they offered a mini sabbatical program?

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Comments

  1. Karl –

    I like your ideas for incentives related to length of work. BTW, I used to work for Accenture as a senior consultant. They are a great organization. I left them few years ago to focus solely on my hotels.

    Please visit my blog when time permits.
    Your site looks great with new logo.

    Shilpan | successsoul.com’s last blog post..How I Transformed My Life with These 5 Simple Thoughts

  2. Tom Volkar / Delightful Work says:

    Karl that’s right man you have all the real life examples that make a speech powerful. It would be interesting if your current employer would entertain some of your work happy concepts now. They could be your first testimonial.
    Stranger things have happened.

    Tom Volkar / Delightful Work’s last blog post..Speak Freely or Die

  3. Karl for you the big question is this I think. How would you use the increased personal time that the sabatical would provide you? I know of your desire to be self-employed so that’s why I ask. When you answer that question you may be delighted by the answer.

    Tom Volkar / Delightful Work’s last blog post..Speak Freely or Die

  4. Shilpan, incentives are such a unique way to separate yourself from the crowd. If a company just adds a few perks then employees will be more willing to stay and actually help the company succeed.

  5. Hey Tom, I know what I would do with my time. I would work on this blog and my speaking career. Alas, I’m not at that point yet. The cool thing is all the information I’m gathering from myself and my co-workers. When I do go out on my own, I’ve got so much information that I’ll be ready for almost anything.

  6. Hi Karl,

    That’s very commendable of Accenture. It’s a practice we don’t see too often.

    A sabbatical is a great idea, and I’ve seen the theory used for marriages as well – where one partner leaves for a short period of time – to find themselves. Most times it works wonders.

    BTW: Thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving a comment. It’s most appreciated.

    Barbara Swafford’s last blog post..Be Inspired By Nothing

  7. Hey Barbara, I never really thought to apply it to marriages, but I think every relationship needs some time off every now and again.

    Your blog is great and I definitely stop back.

  8. This is why Summer Break is very important for teachers. The really effective ones come back with new ideas from places they visited and seminars they’ve attended this summer.

    This one is my favorite post!

    Chris’s last blog post..Drive-Thru Kids: Hold The Tantrum Please

  9. Hey Chris, teachers do have a good vacation system. I think that the ones that use this break wisely can really improve their teaching. That’s the key to any break, allowing it to enhance your life

  10. I had a sabbatical last summer, one month at 100% pay in my 7th year at the company. I used to time to travel with my family and it was really, really great. I quit that company this past April.

    Sabbaticals help, but they’re no substitute for clearly defined career paths and regular opportunities to develop new skills and new knowledge. This is especially true as employees get more and more senior at the company. Otherwise, the sabbatical will point out, as it did for me, that the world is actually a very big place with a lot of opportunities.

    Thanks.

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