Are You Taking Good Care of Your Employees?



Last week I took my first fall/winter vacation. I cruised in the Caribbean for 5 days without cell phone services and internet connections. I needed time to relax and completely unwind, but honestly, I had a “mixed-bag” of emotions throughout the journey. Conclusion – next year I will be on dry land!


The staff on the ship had an amazing work ethic.  From the Cruise Director to housekeeping everyone gave 100% with a smile. I was horrified when I learned that they work 10 to 12-hour days for 6-9 months without any days off. There is never a “slow’ day on a cruise ship. Everyone needs time off to reflect and rejuvenate. The staff are human beings and not robots. I’m not even sure that 6-month work schedule is legal, but I know for sure that it is not healthy. As a manager and a proponent of self-care and employee engagement, I expressed my concerns in the satisfaction survey I received from the cruise line after my trip.


Similarly, why is it acceptable for first-responders and medical personnel to work 24- hour shifts? Why do we expect the people who are responsible for helping us in our greatest time of need to function properly without sleep? It doesn’t make much sense.


I began to think about m own work schedule and the work schedule of my team.

  • Are we working 50-60-hour weeks?
  • Are we using our earned vacation time?
  • Are we taking mental health days when needed?


I then began to think a little deeper about how many managers, myself included, have rewarded our best employees with extra work and the toughest assignments. It makes sense that we would only trust our best employee with our most important projects or clients, right? Of course we wouldn’t give additional work to an employee who is uncommitted or lacks certain skills, right? It may seem logical, but is it fair?


Today I want to leave you with the question, “Are you taking good care of your employees?”.


Nicki Sanders, MSW, is a travel and cupcake lover with a passion for self-discovery and career advancement. She has an extensive background in developing and managing interns and successful internship programs. She is an accomplished manager, professor, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has packaged her Master of Social Work degree and 20 years of diverse work experience into Packaged For Success Enterprises, a full-service training and professional development company.


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