With summer right around the corner, you can bet that your employees are already dreaming up where they're escaping to with friends or family. Getting out of town gives your workforce a chance to recharge, feel relaxed, and respected by your company. The stereotypical office in TV and movies may depict a staff that's always on the clock, but that isn't how your employees should feel or be treated.
A quarter of employees would agree to a pay cut for a nicer work environment, according to a Staples workplace study. Treat your staff like they don't have personal lives, and you're looking at a toxic workplace.
You want your employees to feel welcomed and motivated at work, and a great way to do so is by encouraging them to take advantage of their time outside of the office. Clearly explain your paid time off (PTO) policy, and don't skimp on it! Studies have shown that giving unlimited PTO can actually increase employee productivity compared to having just 20 days of PTO in a calendar year.
Get to know your PTO! Having human resources track PTO can help you understand employee satisfaction, burnout, and retention across the board. It's also good to know if your current policy is the best for your workforce — are people taking off enough time? How do your retainment and turnover look? If you changed your policy, would productivity levels be higher, lower, or the same?
Tracking your company's vacations for upper management is equally as important as doing so for lower-level employees. People are led by example, especially when they're new or starting their very first job. If a manager or director never takes time off, then those working under them will likely feel as though they can't take any time of their own.
This isn't a healthy dynamic to have in the office. Consider having your hardworking managers check in on their team and ask about any upcoming vacation plans. Making employees feel comfortable to take time off even when your team leaders aren't will boost morale and wellness.
Let's talk about the chain of command for a second. Another common excuse to not leave the office is the workload. 43% of employees reported being concerned about the amount of work they would have to come back to after vacation. This fear caused 73% of employees to check in on work while "enjoying" their time off, according to a Project Time Off study.
These fears are built up because workers feel no one else can fill in for them while they're away. There are a couple solutions to this:
- Encourage a more inclusive team. Think about what you want to accomplish in team meetings and dedicate time for people to go over their current projects or goals for the month. That way, when someone steps out for a couple days, someone else can easily step up.
- Expand your team. There could be too much pressure on one employee to get everything done, so it may be time to post a new job application.
- Plan ahead. The sooner you know you're going on vacation, the better. You can divvy up any work you'll miss across multiple days instead of being hit with everything all at once.
Giving your employees a comprehensive, thought-out PTO plan will leave everyone feeling invigorated, fresh, and efficient. Helping your staff find ways to travel will make everyone feel like they're part of a team, and that they're respected as human beings. Once they get back, you'll have an office full of productive and happy employees.