Our Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) work hard. Despite our generous benefits of giving our full-time DSPs six weeks of paid time off per year and four weeks of paid time off per year for our part-time DSPs, they still struggle to take time away for themselves.
Study after study shows that those who have a healthy work / life balance are happier and healthier employees. Those who do not take time off also are highly susceptible to Accumulated Stress Disorder (burnout).
In order to take care of the people we serve, we also need to take care of our DSPs.
We have implemented a new vacation policy.
We want our DSPs to take time off. We need them to be happy, healthy, and feel respected, honored, and appreciated.
In 2019, in addition to the 6 or 4 weeks of paid time off they have access to, our DSPs will also receive a check for $200 to spend on their vacation; but with a few caveats:
· You plan 4 months in advance
· Take a minimum of 2 consecutive weeks off. (no half days, or only one week off)
· Whole team is made aware (Shared Living Provider, person we work for, and supervisor)
· Not during ‘high traffic’ time (Christmas / New Years, hunting season)
Basically, we are not meant to be martyrs. The work we do, advocating and supporting is hard work, but taking care of oneself needs to always be a priority and GMSS’ mission of empowering our neighbors with disabilities to be at home in the community can only happen when we have happy and healthy DSPs who are truly valued.