Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Workplace Wisdom II..to take or not to take leave!!

A surefire  way to make some bosses see red is by applying for leave. For some strange reason, most organizations are averse to granting leave to employees though the charter of commitments spells out a provision for the same. An employee has often to resort to nefarious excuses to avail of his rightfully earned leave which more often than not is sanctioned grudgingly by the employer or the boss. This only serves to sour an agreement which is designed to be mutually beneficial. Leave was a concept arrived at after a very rational scrutiny of what encourages the optimum performance of an employee. It originated as a periodic getaway from the daily grind so that the employee comes back with a fresh and rejuvenated approach to his work.  To facilitate his efficient functioning, slots were also provided for an occasional ‘casual’ take off and for sickness or an accident. In spite of this thoughtfully  planned schedule, why does taking leave become a bone of contention? The key word is ‘planning’. Every employee owes it to his organization to communicate well in advance his intention to avail of his ‘privilege’ or ‘earned’ leave. Most people like to use this for a holiday with a family or for a quiet, restful sojourn at home. Once the head of the department knows when his staff plans to ‘take off’ he can tailor his requirements at work accordingly and delegate duties so that the smooth functioning of the organization is not disrupted. The boss must use his discretion and ensure that the same person does not always get the best bargain. If there is a tie of requirements of equal urgency, perhaps a viable split can be suggested. The intention should be to accommodate everyone’s preference as fairly as possible, without detrimental consequences to the organization. This is possible only by coordinating the requirements of the various departments and drawing up a practical schedule. Some organizations offer the incentive of encashing leave, thereby defeating the purpose of the whole exercise. There are many employees who consistently encash leave and forfeit a chance to ‘get away’. The organization may welcome this ‘dedication’ but in the long run it will only harm the employee. He should be persuaded to take leave at least once in two years. He will then be a better asset.  As for those ‘casual’ days off, employees must assume the responsibility of taking advantage of the privilege when genuinely in need rather than just claiming the right to stay away. A sudden illness or any other unforeseen contingency may account for an un notified absence, but these are extreme cases which can be appreciated.  By and large, there is a tendency to stay back for trivial reasons.  A little more commitment is called for.  A phone call to the boss shows consideration and a sense of responsibility, as do instructions to the secretary or a junior regarding pending matters to be tackled. It is a good gesture to let the office know where one can be contacted just-in-case.  It is indeed in bad taste to send oneself telegrams stating “Mother ill – come soon.” It is best to be truthful and take leave only when you have to or need to. As for the employer – let him grant leave gracefully. When the situation is non-threatening and employees are not made to feel that the organization is out to do them out of their dues, they themselves may be less demanding.