The Mindful Manager: Rest Easy

The Mindful Manager: Rest Easy

We want rest. We work hard and smart all day – pushing for the best data driven results. There is the pursuit for a higher bar – to consistently exceed company expectations.

We work way too much. Seriously. Rest for your staff is necessary. Managers can influence rest.  Early in my career, I remember wanting to take a vacation. After negotiating my time, navigating with other conflicting manager schedules, and a boss who made you feel guilty for taking time off…the excitement of resting vaporized.

You and your staff need rest. We are a success-driven culture; often neglecting spouses, family time, community time, worship time, and time for self. Because we are highly responsible and often have deep fears (layoffs, the performance review, criticism by the boss, etc.), we work ourselves sick (literally). There are too many stress related illnesses caused from work. Some are company driven and some are self-imposed.

It’s proven over and over, that 10-12 hour days, six or seven days a week is grinding and can cause resentment and emotional stress. Now, let’s add more tension… throw in work travel, add new projects to the work menu, stretched family commitments, and sleeping five hours every night. The saga of unrest continues.

You can make a choice for rest. Rest is necessary; for the benefit of a clear mind, restored relationships, physical relaxation, and time to rebuild the heart and soul. Rest clears out the mental grime, reconditions and reenergizes.

Here are four “rest” suggestions that you can implement as a manager (there are always exceptions):

1.    Mirror rest: don’t make it a habit staying after normal working hours, especially with the wrong motives (like, impressing the boss). Many managers start stretching work hours as a matter of normalcy and sacrifice relationships outside work. Arrive on time and leave on time. Your employees will respect your commitment to the work and rest balance. You don’t have to prove you’re a hard worker by spending your rest time working more hours. When you take rest seriously (like you do your work), your staff will, too.

2.    Rest starts early: communicate the importance of rest. Have your staff commit to their allocated time off as early as possible. Respect your employees rest time; don’t make choosing vacation difficult. Express the need to not store up PTO and take needed time off. Help your staff find backups for coverage. Managers can assist by notallowing excessive workloads to build while employees are away.

3.    Show interest in the “rest time” for your staffbe aware of their human condition and necessity for appreciation and rest. Recognize the signs of employee burn-out. A spontaneous “day off” for hard working employees is welcomed! High production needs high rest. Many companies promote sharing employee’s vacations, allowing them to bring the “rest” experience to others. It helps unify the team.

4.    Rest from calls: the Latin term for vacation is “vacare” meaning to empty yourself of those responsibilities at work. Please leave your company phone at home. Don’t check e-mails. Be in the now moment as you rest. Work can wait. Don’t make your family wait.

As of recent, I know several talented people who left their jobs, where rest and recognition were not acknowledged by their managers. Families waited too long. Shame on management for losing excellent talent.

Workplace culture is changing at an expeditious pace. We work diligently and responsibly but the human body and mind need to chill, time to unwind, time to think, time to enjoy life’s precious gifts and time to sleep.

Yes, a time to sleep.  The observant King wisely stated, “the sleep of a laborer is sweet” …

You, as the manager set the example. Create consistent workplace habits that allow you and your staff to rest easy. Encourage employees to enjoy their happy place.  It’s an important piece of well-being and employee engagement.

They will return – invigorated for productive and effective work.