In 2015, the American workforce wasted 658 million vacation days. This equates to more than half of American workers not taking their earned time off. What many companies and employees have recently discovered is that ensuring their workforce utilizes their vacation time there is a rise in employee happiness and an increase productivity. But why is there such a difficulty in getting individuals to take their days off? Here are the why, what and how on encouraging employees to take their earned time off.
Why do employees fail to take the time off?
Many employees have stated that they do not take their time off due to many factors. One of the largest responses is that they spend their workdays planning and they do not want to spend their time off having to plan out the days on their vacation. This is more typical with workers that have children. Another point of reasoning is that employees fear the back log of work when they return from their time off. This stems from a fear of not having a backup person in place to fill in for them while they are out of the office.
What are the benefits of time off?
Employees that do not use their earned vacation time tend to be the more stressed out team members. Stress in the workplace leads to anxiety, and anxious employees tend to suffer from job burn-out. Taking some much-needed time to re-charge the batteries can help a stressed-out employee come back to their work with new insight and show an increase in productivity.
How to encourage my employees to take time off?
Different companies have found success with specific tactics catered to their workforce demographics. Whether it is an open calendar showing all vacations (including high level executives) to normalize time off or email reminders of an individual’s remaining vacation time. A clear understanding of the vacation policy helps to drive the want to take time off, as well. Find what suits your team by simply asking them what will help them to take this necessary break.
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