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Date posted: 26th July 2023

26th July 2023

Setting the Standard: Managers Leading by Example with Time Off

Setting the Standard: Managers Leading by Example with Time Off

Managers play a vital role in setting the example for employees when it comes to taking time off for self-care. A recent incident involving a sick railway worker highlights the impact one absence can have on an entire company. Despite challenges like labor shortages, it’s crucial for leaders to prioritize their well-being, encouraging a healthy work-life balance and fostering a positive work environment. By leading with self-care and promoting a culture of rest, employers can improve employee well-being, productivity, and overall company success.

Serena Haththotuwa, in the article published in HR Grapevine, suggests that “It’s up to managers to lead by example and take time off.

A sick railway worker’s absence has been singled out as the reason for delays across multiple train lines.

The staff member, who works as a train signaller for Sydney Trains, was blamed for causing a ripple effect of disruption across train services upon their absence, their role being considered integral to the functioning of the network.

A train signaller is responsible for telling drivers when a track is clear and safe for a train to go down. In a statement, the company said that “typical backup” was not available at the firm’s disposal to replace the unwell worker.

The New South Wales roads minister, John Graham, said the delays put a spotlight on challenges around recruiting for these “highly skilled” roles. He said: “It takes some time to recruit and train signallers. But the government recognises that is a challenge. There are plans to address what has been a workforce shortage in that particular area.”

Too much responsibility?

Linking widespread company disruption to a single employee highlights the, often unreasonable, amount of responsibility an employee can have. It’s poor organisation on Sydney Trains’ part that one worker can take the day off and the entire company is impacted.

This is likely uncommon for most firms, however this scenario highlights the pressure felt by many workers, managers in particular, to be present at work because of fears that things will fall apart.

Every role is important in a company. But managers, who organise their team and are important to the overall function of a business, feel more than anyone the stress, and sometimes guilt, associated with taking time off work.

For some leaders, there’s a fear of taking time off work due to prolonging and increasing their workload. Unlike lower level roles, whose work may be put on hold or carried out by colleagues, managers often don’t have someone who can take on their work. So taking time off work doesn’t always pose a tempting option.

Read the full article here and find out how to cultivate a culture of self-care in the workplace.

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