How to Get your Employees to Use their Vacation Time
Many employees are hesitant to take vacation time, even when their companies offer it. It seems that employees of younger generations are the most stubborn when it comes to taking their vacation time. Naturally, employees of any age want to make a good impression in the workplace but younger employees are particularly worried about seeming unproductive if they take time off because they are still getting established in the company and in the workforce in general. However, most HR professionals and managers know that denying vacation time leads to stress, which can in turn lead to a whole host of issues like burnout, illness, and mental and emotional strain. Here’s what you can do to get your employees to use their vacation time.
The best way to convey the message that taking vacation time is a good thing is by following your own advice. If you want your employees to see that taking a break isn’t frowned upon, managers and HR professionals should set the example. Take your own vacation time and have a discussion with your employees about the benefits of relaxing and regrouping away from the workplace when you take off. Your long-time employees will start using their vacation time and then your newer employees will realize that your workplace encourages rest. Most of the time it’s up to HR professionals and managers to set an example, and this is true when it comes to getting your employees to go on vacation. If it’s okay for you to take time away from work without being labeled as a slacker, then your employees will feel better about not being judged themselves. When surveyed, employees often state that they would be more willing to take vacation leave if they saw their workplace leaders do the same. Not only will your employees feel more comfortable about using their vacation time but you will also benefit by regularly taking time for yourself as well.
Managers and HR professionals should also keep up on ongoing conversation about why taking vacation time is so great. Remind your employees that becoming stressed will not make them more productive and that you understand that downtime is crucial to mental, emotional, and professional health. Emphasize that everyone needs to take a break every once in awhile and that this doesn’t make an employee lazy and unproductive. Your employees will be more willing to use their vacation time if they know that their managers and HR leaders won’t hold it against them or develop a negative impression of them. It’s also good to make sure that your employees know that your workplace is a judgement free zone and this includes their coworkers’ decisions to go on vacation. If you hear some watercooler gossip about an employee that has take some time off, put an end to it and remind any gossipers that vacation time is a positive thing.
Your employees have personal lives and a great way to show that you understand and value this is by encouraging them to utilize their vacation time.