Our topic this week: Take persuasive pauses

The holidays are upon us. For most, that is beneficial; for some, this is a time of increased activity and stress from being pulled in multiple directions simultaneously. What should be a time of celebration and joy can turn into a six-week long slog. Some of us need “a break from the break” to catch our breath and gather our strength for the new year.

Every rational person agrees that taking pauses from time to time is a net positive. Stephen Covey referred to purposeful pauses as “sharpening the saw.”

I am thinking of something similar, but not identical: a persuasive pause.

Wise organizations go to considerable lengths to create cultures of caring. That usually includes sufficient sick and vacation time to make sure that employees are taken care of in the event that “life happens.”

Wiser organizations go a step further in this regard and promote persuasive pauses. Simply put, the best way to transmit caring is to provide time away from the job in unexpected ways that prove the organization’s commitment to the well-being of its people. My preferred method was to send staff out the door at 4:00 on Fridays so they could beat the rush to the nearest grocery store or retailer (or to get an early start on leaving town for the weekend). This did not count against their wages or paid time off. Over the course of a year, that extra hour added up to another week off–with pay.

Some organizations go in a different direction with their persuasive pauses by insisting that employees take full advantage of professional development opportunities outside the building, or preferably, out of town. This is a win-win for employee and employer: the employee brings back new ideas that the organization can implement, and the employee also gets time to themselves in another setting–with pay.

Talk is cheap. The best thing about persuasive pauses is that they are not expensive–and the return on investment is both immediate and sustainable.

Do your organization and your employees a big favor–make persuasive pauses a part of your culture. You will see the difference in productivity and most importantly in this day of The Great Resignation–loyalty.