What’s your position on employee breaks? Do you believe they are necessary and helpful? That they improve employee morale, job satisfaction, creativity
Think back to your previous jobs. How were
What about the flip side? Have you ever worked in an organization where people could do whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted,
Beyond the laws of your state, there aren’t hard and fast rules about breaks or meals. Research by Dr. Hunt and Dr. Wu of Baylor University indicates that the right type of breaks
While it may be easiest to have hard and fast rules concerning breaks, you run the risk of conveying distrust and creating unintended consequences rather than conveying fairness. When it comes to policy, the questions you must ask are: “What message is being sent?” and, “How is it working?”
Years ago, a group of us visited the Cross in the Woods in Northern Michigan. The stairway leading up was roped in the middle with multiple “Keep Off” signs. All of us but one dutifully stayed on the permitted side. Our friend, however, tapped her toe on the other side. When asked why, she replied, “The best way to get me to do something is to tell me I’m not allowed.”
I can’t help thinking that rigidly monitored breaks provoke the same response. While you can dictate when and how long breaks will be, you might not hear the complaints or see what happens when your back is turned. Additionally, it’s extremely difficult to measure if someone is working slowly to prove a point or because they feel resentful.
Having no rules, on the other hand, generally creates chaos. While your employees might enjoy the freedom and appreciate the implied trust, some will take advantage of the opportunity to slack off.
I believe the best policy is to empower your employees to take mini breaks as
As you lead, routinely ask yourself:
Does everyone have enough work to do, or do I need to make adjustments?
Am I holding employees accountable for their results?
Am I over-relying on or over-burdening my best performers?
Am I adequately rewarding results and behaviors that lead to success?
When you treat employees respectfully, monitor workloads to ensure each individual pulls their weight, and protect your team from burnout and overexertion – especially in extreme heat – you win their respect, admiration