career break

A career break refers to a temporary period away from full-time employment. This can range from a few months to several years and can be motivated by various factors, such as travel, personal development, caregiving responsibilities, or pursuing entrepreneurial ventures. While traditionally viewed with skepticism, career breaks are becoming increasingly common, particularly amongst millennials and Gen Z.

Why should HR and business managers embrace career breaks as a natural part of a professional journey?

Here’s how they can benefit your organization:

  • Enhanced Skills and Knowledge: Unlike a perceived skills gap, career breaks can be periods of immense personal and professional growth. Individuals may use this time to volunteer, learn new languages or skills, or pursue educational opportunities. These experiences can translate into valuable skill sets, such as cultural competency, adaptability, and problem-solving – assets highly sought after in today’s dynamic work environment.
  • Rejuvenated and Motivated Workforce: The relentless pace of work can lead to burnout and decreased productivity. A career break allows employees to recharge, pursue passions, and return with renewed energy, focus, and a fresh perspective. This translates into a more engaged and motivated workforce, ultimately contributing to higher quality work and a more positive company culture.
  • Retention and Loyalty: Offering flexible options for career breaks demonstrates that your company values its employees’ well-being and recognizes the importance of a positive work-life balance. This fosters employee loyalty and increases the likelihood that talented individuals will return to your company after a hiatus, saving you the time and resources to recruit and onboard new talent.

Conclusion 

To effectively manage career breaks, consider establishing clear company policies outlining eligibility, duration, and return-to-work procedures. Open communication throughout the process is crucial to maintain a positive relationship with the employee. By embracing career breaks, HR and business managers can cultivate a more flexible and supportive work environment, promoting employee well-being and ultimately strengthening your talent pool.

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