Episode 177 – Sabbaticals In The Workplace

By on Nov 14, 2018 in Associations, Behavior, Connect Detroit, Lead by Action, Leadership, Podcast | 0 comments

Why The Michigan Municipal League Offers Sabbaticals

The cool thing about doing a sabbatical is that it isn’t just for the person to get getting time off, but it’s for everyone around them who has to fill in. When you look taking a sabbatical and we decided to put one forward where people of a certain point in the organization get one month off – paid at some point in time, they become available.

How Sabbaticals Work at the Michigan Municipal League

Sabbaticals become available every five years. They’re based on seniority. So when I institute this, we took our most senior people and we limited them to two. We said two people can go every year.

What you find out, is other people get to step up. People who are in sort of subordinate positions have to step up into the leadership position to take on some of those tasks for a month. You begin thinking a little bit differently about what you do as an organization. Most importantly, you give leadership lessons and on the job training to people who are your future leaders in the organization.

What The Michigan Municipal League Learned About Sabbaticals

I can tell you after doing this for six years we have seen some people graduate into those roles because they show themselves to be more than ready to take on some responsibilities that we hadn’t been asking them to do. I’ve not heard one complaint so far. You hear people talking years out what they’re going to do, and I think it’s become something that helps us provide a little bit more people to get them to be happier in their work.

Sabbaticals are a Great Employment Perk!

As organizations, we don’t have unlimited resources. We have to try to find those ways in which you could fill that pot with as much good stuff as you can often make up for a salary request. We’re trying to fill that place to really walk the walk, not just talk the talk about what makes us a good organization to work for. This is something we feel really firm about.



I grew up in associations and have been a technological advocate for nearly 20 years.I have a proven track record by running three trade associations, serving on the technological committees of several others.I am passionate about leveraging content and technology to keep trade associations relevant. Founding member, @purereinvention & Social Media Marketing Society.I was honored by MSAE in 2014 with the Director’s Gavel Award for advancing the strategic interests of the association.

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