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Published: August 25, 2021
Author: Aniruddha Ganguly

Assess leaders on their ‘leave performance’ to stop fuelling ‘unsocial psychology’

Sometime back a highly successful colleague was regretting not taking many holidays in his long career of over 40 years. He is financially well off, but now his wife is not keeping well and he is unfit to enjoy simple physical exertion involved in vacationing. Even temple visits for both of them are painful. He was wondering what his next 30 years have in store for him!

How did this happen?

Many Indians have an abysmal track record of taking leave. They are reluctant to take time off from work. Some take pride in not taking leave! Some are afraid to take leave, lest they fall behind in their career or are frowned upon by the management! Some have low level of social network and weak personal relationships which make them wonder what they would do, away from work. I call this ‘unsocial psychology’.

Unsocial psychology is making people physically ill and mentally fragile with personal life being a distraction. An employee usually approaches his boss for leave with a sense of guilt! Is there a belief that an atmosphere of paranoia will keep people on their toes? What does leave encashment policy encourage? What is the percentage leave utilization in a company? How many leaves lapse?

If the management wants to stop fuelling this serious social and organizational illness, they should introduce one simple indicator that would assess a leader’s ‘leave performance’ of self and team. I believe this will have a huge positive impact on the overall health of an organization. What do you think?

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