I’m in a leadership role at my day job. I have direct reports and responsibility for staff reviews, feedback, coaching, time management, etc typical things that you might expect for some in a role like this. The group I run is a 24/7 operations group. I recently had a staff member give me his two-week notice. After many years with the company, he was moving on to a new role with a new company. He thanked me for his time. I wished him well, explained that we never want to lose anyone, but would not want to hold anyone back from a better opportunity. I also explained the process of leaving the company.
The exit interview and what to expect as far as his last paycheck, unused time etc. This was a general overview on my part and I explained that our human resources department would go over these in far greater detail. He handed me his official letter of resignation and he left. Reading the letter I realized that he was not giving the company full 2 weeks notice, more like a week and a half. I was able to work it out with other schedules to cover, so all in all, not a big deal. On his final days, 3 hours before his shift he sent an e-mail stating that he has unused personal hours and would be taking them for his last shift. Not a huge deal as we have other coverage, but didn’t leave a good last impression on me or others in the group. This event got me thinking about the overall balance between work and personal life.
Time Away from Work
My company offers a variety of paid time off during each year. He’s the breakdown.
- Vacation Time – as many as 4 weeks or 200 hours per year depending on your length of employment.
- Sick Time – as many as 10 days for 80 hours per year depending on your length of employment.
- Personal Time – as many as 3 days for 30 hours per year depending on your length of employment.
- FML – as much as 3 month or 120 paid based on circumstance.
- Short Term Disability and Long Term Disability – based on length of employment you are entitled to % of your pay.
As you can see there are many options to cover time away from work given any number of reasons. Vacation time is the only time at my company that is allowed to be carried over year to year, Unused Sick and Personal is lost and reset each year. These 3 are accrued monthly during the year.
I usually do not use all of my accrued time within a given year. I often give sick time back and carry vacation time over year to year. I try and be flexible with staff with their request as I understand that life happens, and unexpected things will pop up from time to time. I myself will occasionally take a sick day or as I like to call them a mental health day when I need a break to reboot myself for a day. I have experienced staff that always seems to come up with the last minute, need to leave early, or day off request. When these requests become patterns that is when I begin to question their validity. I have no idea at what rate I accrue my vacation, personal or sick time, but I have seen staff members who do, down to the hour. Who will put a request in for vacation in advance of having the hours banked already? When I would question if they would say oh by that time I will have enough hours. This type of work ethic makes me questions one’s dedication and make we wonder if they have ever heard of the term career limiting move. My job provides for my family, and my salary is the biggest wealth building tool I have. I do try and maintain a healthy balance between work and personal life. The concept of using every bit of time and counting your hours to your next vacation is foreign to me on a personal level. Even more, so that I’m in a leadership role I’d much rather have dedicated staff members than someone who counting their hour to the next day off. If you are truly that unhappy, why not go find something else to do?
How many paid days off do you receive from your job? How do you maintain a healthy balance between work and personal life? Have you ever been so unhappy with a job that you use every bit of vacation, sick, personal time once you had access to it?