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Planned Disconnection in a Culture

by Jonathan Jones

As leaders, we want our employees to be engaged at work. However, they shouldn’t be constantly engaged in their work. This goes for the leaders as well.

With email, cell phones, tablets and laptops, it is easy to stay connected to work. I have seen many workplaces where the employers expect their employees to work as long and hard as they do and look down on employees who don’t “put in the hours.” Managers can burn out themselves or burn out their employees.

Many of the better, more productive employees leave to have a life. There has to be a separation from work. Being away from work allows us to disconnect and recharge. Outside organizations and boards allow us to get better and learn about what else is happening in our communities and other companies. Vacations let us focus on our own lives. As a leader, you must set an example.

Here are some tips to encourage disconnection:
• Recognize and reward performance, not hours worked.
• Rarely send an email or a text during non-business hours. When you do send one, it sends a message that your employees should be working. A trick is to use your email function to delay delivery until the first thing the next working morning. It also puts your email at the top of the list.
• Take a vacation and encourage vacations, especially those that are at least a week long. There is no better way to disconnect and live your life.
• Take time for professional development. No matter where you are in your career, there is always something you can learn.
• Get involved in industry and professional associations. In the process, you will learn from other organizations and provide leadership in your community.

Encouraging disconnection increases creativity, provides perspective and gives people more control of their lives.

Jonathan Jones ( or 314-608-0783) is a CEO peer group chair/coach for Vistage International.
Submitted 5 years 67 days ago
Categories: categoryCulturecentric Leadership
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