Gina Blitstein Article
|Gina Blitstein combines her insight as a fellow small business owner with her strong communication skills, exploring topics that enhance your business efforts. That first-hand knowledge, matched with an insatiable curiosity to know more about just about anything, makes her a well-rounded writer with a sincere desire to engage and inform.|
Encouraging Employees to Take Those Accrued Vacation Days
Diligent, hardworking employees are a boon to your business. Their dedicated efforts keep things rolling along, making your company productive and profitable. You clearly appreciate your employees’ hard work on your behalf and realize the importance of making sure they remain in top form. One of the most impactful ways you can demonstrate the value you place on your employees is their compensation package and among the most important elements of that is vacation time.
As important a benefit as vacation is, a tremendous number of these days surprisingly go unused. While many people enjoy vacation time, others believe their time is better spent on the job. Common rationales for belaying vacation include:
Employee belief #1: “If I work more, I’ll accomplish more, impress the “powers that be” and be on track for career advancement.”
Truth of the matter: Working more does not necessarily mean that you will accomplish more - or that anyone will notice or value your extra effort. Also, while having an employee who is willing to put in the hours is admirable, promotions are often based on assets other than time logged.
Employee belief #2: “I’m already swamped! Taking time off for vacation will put me even further behind on my duties.”
Truth of the matter: When you’re overwhelmed, you’re probably not working at peak performance. That, coupled with a general feeling of failure tends to make your attitude and job satisfaction poor.
Employee belief #3: “This place will come to a grinding halt without me here! Who’s going to do my work I’m off on vacation?”
Truth of the matter: No one is (or should be lead to believe they are) indispensable. An employee who feels that they are the only one able to perform certain tasks is unfairly overburdened.
Even to an employer, it may seem that employees taking time off for vacation would break their rhythm and focus, inconvenience your team and generally throw a monkey wrench into your regular workflow. You certainly don’t want to discourage employees who are “rarin’ to go” to take leave of their duties, do you?
The commonality in all the beliefs mentioned above is that working more is better than working less - but that’s not necessarily true. People - even ones who are dedicated and diligent employees - need occasional time away from that which is routine. Taking time to experience different surroundings, a change in schedule and freedom from the same responsibilities provides the mind a necessary break. This allows the individual’s “battery” to recharge so that when one returns to work, it is with a fresh, renewed state of mind. This can mean sharper focus leading to better job performance.
Imagine that: A team of fresh workers, operating at the top of their game! To that end, encourage your employees to use those vacation days to recoup energy and focus. Of course, there are things you can do facilitate their comfort level in making vacation plans, including:
Be clear about your expectations. Make certain your employees know the path to success in your business. Don’t allow them to feel that they will in any way miss an opportunity by taking off the time to which they are entitled.
Nurture your employees as fully rounded individuals - not just worker bees. Demonstrate your awareness of your employees’ lives and interests beyond work. Support the “whole person” who wants to spend time with family and pursue personal interests on their own time by encouraging their vacations. You’ll be rewarded with happier, more loyal employees.
Assess workload so no one feels buried and unable to spare time away. An employee who feels swamped may be overworked. Determine if he or she is juggling too many responsibilities or needs support to feel less burdened and more in control of their duties. An employee who feels confident that things are under control can vacation with a unburdened mind.
Develop a contingency plan for each position within the company. There should always be someone who can do someone else’s job in their absence. No one employee should feel their vacation time would negatively affect the company or their coworkers. When this concern is alleviated, an employee can feel comfortable taking a few days off.
Your loyal employees have earned some time for themselves. In the long run, it’s better for them - and you - when they take some time for rest, relaxation and recreation. They’ll return with increased energy, focus and dedication - and that’s good for your business.
How do you encourage your employees to use their vacation days?
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