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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