Your organization’s employees no doubt believe they’re entitled to take all the vacation days they earn. So why do they leave so many on the table?
A new survey from travel site Expedia says 92% of employees embrace their rights to take their vacations, yet one of every three is “vacation deprived.” In fact, employees will forgo an average of three days of paid leave this year.
Advice: Put a stop to that. It may be tempting to look the other way when employees skip vacations so your organization won’t have to pay for temps or get by with fewer people when you’re already down to a skeleton staff. But neglecting the problem will backfire. Employees who use their paid time off are more productive and happier than those who don’t.
Try these suggestions to encourage employees to use their vacation time:
- Train managers to urge employees to use their leave.
- Require employees to take a minimum number of vacation days.
- Be flexible about when employees use their leave and how long they can be gone.
- Offer an unlimited number of vacation days so employees don’t feel the need to save them for emergencies.
- Lighten individual workloads so employees don’t feel like they “can’t” get away.
- Ensure that the organization’s culture supports the use of vacation time and that those who take their earned leave won’t be negatively perceived.
- Encourage managers to help employees find ways to cover job responsibilities while they take vacation.
- Impress on upper-level managers the need to set an example by using their own vacation days.
- Forbid co-workers from e-mailing or calling vacationing employees about work.
More than one-third of employees report they feel more productive and better about their jobs after a vacation. Half claim a long break helps them feel rested, rejuvenated and reconnected to their personal lives.