The use of sabbaticals as a means to improve employee motivation and morale is growing rapidly as companies seek ways to retain their star performers and fight the effects of job burnout. In this article, the authors examine the various forms of sabbaticals in diverse industries, the reasons for their use, and the relevant benefits and concerns for organizations and employees. The authors' review of current literature suggests that the adoption of sabbaticals can have positive effects on both business organizations and employees. They conclude with implementation strategies for making sabbaticals work effectively and suggestions for possible future research on the issue.
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[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The consequences of demographic change for firms are increasingly discussed in both academia and industry. However, empirical findings indicate that the correlation between an employee's age and performance is nearly insignificant. What matters most is the currency of employees' competencies. The Human Resources Management (HRM) literature offers suggestions about 'best practices' to keep competencies up to date. In this paper, we present empirical results from R&D-intensive organisations (non-university research). Based on qualitative empirical data, we identified configuration types that perform different strategies for keeping employees' competencies up to date. The differences result from the relation of an organisation's environment to its internal learning dynamics. Consequently, the appropriateness of Human Resource (HR) strategies, measures and practices to keep competencies up to date depends on the configuration type. 'Best practices' in one configuration type can be 'worst practices' in another. We show which HR strategies, measures and practices are employed in different configuration types and how they shape the learning dynamics in various environments.
International Journal of Human Resources Development and Management 01/2009; 93(9):124-148. DOI:10.1504/IJHRDM.2009.023449
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A rigorous quasi-experiment tested the ameliorative effects of a sabbatical leave, a special case of respite from routine work. We hypothesized that (a) respite increases resource level and well-being and (b) individual differences and respite features moderate respite effects. A sample of 129 faculty members on sabbatical and 129 matched controls completed measures of resource gain, resource loss, and well-being before, during, and after the sabbatical. Among the sabbatees, resource loss declined and resource gain and well-being rose during the sabbatical. The comparison group showed no change. Moderation analysis revealed that those who reported higher respite self-efficacy and greater control, were more detached, had a more positive sabbatical experience, and spent their sabbatical outside their home country enjoyed more enhanced well-being than others. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)