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Why you should encourage employees to take more vacation time

Encourage employees to take vacation time

As a Hawaii business owner, you know that the health and happiness of your workforce greatly affects your business and ultimately your bottom line. Still, receiving a vacation request from an employee may cause you anxiety as running short staffed—even if just a week or two—can throw a wrench in the efficiency level of your team. Not only that, but many employees are actually hesitant to take time off, either because they don’t want to disappoint their boss or want to show an unwavering commitment to the job and the company.

Why you should encourage employees to use vacation time

The benefits of your workforce utilizing their vacation days far outweigh the inconvenience of functioning with fewer hands. In fact, there are three important reasons why encouraging your employees to take more vacation time is a smart strategy that your business should adopt.

Increased productivity

Good productivity doesn’t always equal more hours worked—instead, productivity requires a certain level of focus and attention that can be greatly diminished when an employee is stressed and overworked. Just as sleep allows us to feel our best the next day, time away from the office allows employees to return to work with a fresh mindset and the ability to hit the ground running again.

Healthier employees

Studies show that employees who don’t use vacation or paid time off are more likely to suffer from high levels of stress. Not only does this jeopardize their health, it also means they are prone to calling in sick more often, resulting in hefty absentee costs for businesses. Plus, healthy and happy employees are also prone to stay longer at their jobs, reducing the cost of turnover.

Improved flexibility

When an employee takes time away from the office, it’s a great opportunity for employers to identify and evaluate gaps in their work processes. Who will handle key responsibilities during the employee’s absence? Is there a more efficient way of getting tasks done? Your business may want to consider cross-training employees, sharing job knowledge, and even using this time as an opportunity to note which employees step up to the plate and demonstrate potential for growth.

How to encourage employees to use vacation time

Even if you believe in the benefits of taking time away from the office, it may not be easy to convince your workers to feel the same. In fact, a large percentage of employees are reluctant to use vacation time, with the U.S. Census Bureau reporting that, though over 79 percent of American workers have access to paid vacation, only a third actually use a full-week’s vacation every year. Whether employees feel guilty for taking time off or have too much on their plate, there are a few ways employers can encourage their workers to use vacation benefits.

Communicate benefits

If you want your employees to utilize their benefits, it’s important to ensure that they understand what perks they’re entitled to. Communicating company benefits not only shows that you value your employees, but also helps to control costs.

Define company values

Does your company reward performance or long hours? How difficult is it to request time off? A work culture that supports employee well-being and work-life balance will naturally encourage employees to take vacation.

Lead by example

If managers never take vacations or are constantly working even when they’re not at the office, employees will think they’re expected to do the same.

Consider a “use it or lose it” policy

This is one way to ensure that employees make it a priority to take time off. Allowing employees to carry over unlimited vacation hours means that some individuals could go several years without taking a vacation.

Paid vacation isn’t just a benefit to employees; employers can reap the benefits, too. By actively encouraging employees to take time off, your company will see widespread improvements in productivity, creativity, and morale. If you have questions regarding your employees’ vacation time or other HR related issues, contact one of our helpful human resource consultants at (808) 791-4900.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Readers should first consult their attorney, accountant or adviser before acting upon any information in this article.

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