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Vacation Utilization

Why you should encourage employees to take time off

Now that the holidays have wrapped up, it’s time to take a second and reflect on how hectic the last quarter went as far as scheduling. Were your employees all out at the same time? Did they scramble to meet their year-end goals? Did they end up pushing goals off until they returned from vacation?

If your holiday scheduling had some gaping holes, don’t despair! Instead, make one of your New Year’s resolutions to do better next year.

Not sure how to start? Here are some facts about vacation in the workplace and tips to help motivate you to make your plan:

It’s good for your business that employees take time off

Did you know? 705 million vacation days go unused by American employees every year.

When your employees utilize their vacation time, they tend to take advantage of the time they do have in the office. This leads to an increase in efficiency, productivity, and employee satisfaction. Employees who tend to let their career consume their lives, on the other hand, are much more likely to feel overworked and suffer from employee burnout.  A few other benefits that can stem from vacation time are the ability to cross-train and the opportunity for teams to grow stronger. When someone is away team members will have to rely on each other to cover their duties. Employee’s will begin to appreciate a full team presence and realize how important everyone’s contributions are.

Make sure your employees know you want them to take time off

Did you know? 67% of employees received negative or mixed messages about their vacation time.

If you are someone who decides whether or not to approve of an employee’s vacation time, ask yourself: Do my employees know how I feel about taking time off?

As a manager, it’s important to lead by example. Senior leaders should aim to become more relatable by setting boundaries around their time. If you leave the office early for a family event or take a Friday off for a weekend getaway, employees will feel it is more acceptable to step away from the office. Make sure you’re spreading the message that vacation time is a good thing and that you want your employees to have a good work/life balance.

Encourage employees to plan vacations well in advance

Did you know? 48% of employees plan their vacation less than six weeks in advance, and 27% of employees fear their manager will not approve of their time off if they ask too far in advance.

Help your employees start the year off by planning for their bucket list – instead of their to-do list. “National Plan for Vacation Day” is celebrated on the last Tuesday of every January (that’s January 29 for 2019). Take advantage of this “holiday” to ask your employees to start thinking about their vacation plans (and submitting their requests) sooner rather than later. You’ll be really glad you did when you’re not spending your Thanksgiving trying to figure out who gets to take time off at Christmas.

Below is a quick guideline for you to follow in 2019

January: When your employees return from the holidays have them look into how many vacation days they have accumulated. On the 29th take time to meet with your team and explore opportunities for vacation in 2019.

March: Check-in with your team to see if they have anything planned yet. If you haven’t planned any time off for yourself remember to lead by example.

August: This tends to be a slow month for most companies. If your team members haven’t taken time off yet, encourage them to do so before the holidays arrive.

November: You can almost taste the Thanksgiving turkey. Try encouraging your employees to stay in town over the holidays by hosting a holiday gathering.

Keep in mind that vacation can also mean not coming into the office by working remotely. You would be surprised how much work employees will complete when they have a change of scenery. There are several vacation policies you can consider such as unlimited vacation time or even having a required timeframe when the office shuts down. Whichever route your company chooses, G&A Partners will be here to help you create the policy you desire.

Ready to work with an HR partner to help you implement these strategies in 2019 and beyond? Let’s Talk!

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