A good number of employers have a bad attitude towards employee vacation time. For such employers, employee vacation time often means incurring extra costs, delayed tasks/timelines and lost productivity. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

Why Have a Vacation Policy?

First, employees who do not take vacation time off work are at a higher risk of experiencing work burnout than employees who take time off work. Increased employee burnout is in turn likely to lead to a wide range of other problems including lower motivation levels, reduced productivity, increased on-work errors and even increased sick leave time requests.

Having an effective vacation policy can also make a company more attractive to potential job-seekers. This means that with a vacation policy, it is easier to attract new talent. Allowing employees to go on vacation also improves their mental well-being and helps them to strengthen their relationships within and outside the workplace.
More importantly for businesses, encouraging employees to go on vacation can help to reduce costs such as those associated with healthcare or those caused by unused vacation days that have been rolled over by employees. In 2016 for example businesses in America are estimated to have accumulated a total liability of $272 billion in unused paid time-offs.

How to Encourage Employees to Take a Vacation

Some of the steps that companies could take to encourage employees to take vacations include:

1. Developing a vacation schedule

Companies could start by developing a vacation schedule that all employees are supposed to abide with. This schedule should ensure that all employees are allocated vacation days.

2. Lead by Example

Employees often follow the cues set by their leaders. In this sense, employees working under a manager who values and takes time-off work are more likely to value vacation time than those working under a manager who does not take any time off.

3. Actively Encourage Employees to go on Vacation

Managers should also take the initiative to verbally encourage their employees to take time off from work. For this to happen effectively, the manager would have to keep tabs on employees to know who has taken time-off and who has not. The manager should then make it his/her responsibility to encourage employees who have not gone on vacation to go on one.

4. Avoid Vacation Shaming

In some companies, employees who take time-off may be shamed by their superiors or even by their fellow employees. Research suggests that over 50% of millennials have been shamed for taking time off from work. To avoid such shaming, companies should enlighten employees on the benefits of vacations.