The NBA is winning with its sabbatical program

Tatlock and her family went to Europe for three weeks, visiting cultural sites in several countries. But the final week of her sabbatical was much more low key, in Western Massachusetts.

“Then I indulged in doing the camp pick up and drop off, making lunches, cooking dinners, being there every night for bedtime, and it was as extraordinary as the first part,” Tatlock said.

Tatlock, who has spearheaded many of the NBA’s biggest sponsorship deals, said the time not only gave her batteries a recharge, but it gave others at the company the chance to step up and help in new ways.

“My colleagues stepped in to carry the workload and not reach out to me, which to this day I truly appreciate,” Tatlock said.

Nike, McDonald’s and Intel are just some of the major companies offering sabbatical programs, but the National Basketball Association is the first professional sports organization to do so.

“The market is so tight for good candidates — people are really focused on retaining, especially their tenured employees,” said Dawn Fay, a district president at staffing agency Robert Half.

Hutcherson said sabbaticals have benefited the company as well, helping new leaders emerge, leading to innovation and fresh ideas.

“To be a little bit blunt, if this place can’t survive without you for four weeks, we are in a world of hurt,” he added.

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