Your Vacation Is Meant for Relaxing

human resources management organizational culture strategic management Apr 09, 2022
Capacity Experts: Vacations are for Relaxing

Since the beginning of my professional career, I have only taken a couple of real vacations. For the most part, during my vacations, I have squeezed in important errands I have been putting off, scheduled appointments for things I did not have time for because work was more important, or worked in the afternoon while taking just the morning off.

After taking a real vacation this summer, I can safely say that all of those research studies that have told us to take vacations to just relax were absolutely correct. Taking truly relaxing vacations should be a priority instead of a marathon of errands that you have put off or a hybrid vacation where you merely shift to a lighter workload. 

It is particularly important for nonprofit leaders, boards, and funders to create spaces for employees at all levels of the organization to rest, regenerate, and recharge. According to a study we conducted here at Capacity Building and Policy Experts, LLC., we have found that in the face of funding restrictions imposed by funders and understaffing, nonprofits are overextending employees. This makes burnout one the potential biggest and most unrecognized threats to the industry. As we see more employees get overstretched to the point of exhaustion where they feel like they must choose between their life or their job, more people will decide to leave the industry. They may also lose confidence in their field or the organization they work for altogether. This, of course, should concern us all. 

Nonprofit Leaders & Funders Should Prioritize the Nonprofit Workforce

As government relies increasingly on nonprofits to carry out vital services and programs, the funding structures of organizations that nonprofits navigate may be unintentionally creating the perfect storm for a massive exodus from the field. Thus, it is more critical than ever, as we are seeing needs from vulnerable populations to increase support for the nonprofit workforce. 

The benefits of creating adequate vacation packages, providing flexible schedules that accommodate people’s lives, allowing people to work from home beyond the pandemic, and accommodating work hours to fit people’s childcare and parent care realities extend far beyond giving people time to regenerate. These types of policies allow organizations to build truly equitable and inclusive environments that allow people to live their lives without choosing between themselves, their health, their families, and their jobs. In an industry where a large portion of employees are female and there is a large representation of people from the BIPOC community, it is essential that policies allow people to establish this equilibrium. 

Person-Centered Policies Make Good Business Sense

Investing in the well-being of employees extends beyond creating an ethical environment. The quality of the work that employees will be putting forth will be better. Studies continuously show that employees are able to better focus on work when they return, productivity increases, and there is greater workplace satisfaction. In short, providing employees with generous and flexible vacation times and employee-friendly policies is both practical and ethical.

Share Your Story

Please share with us how taking a vacation has helped you in your work. We would love to learn from your experiences!

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