- Talent Management
Vacation and paid time off shouldn’t have negative connotations around your office place. In fact, handling employee leave and paid time off the right way can make your workplace, your talent, and your productivity levels stronger.
Recent research shows that of American workers who have some paid time off at their job, over 40 percent didn’t take advantage of all the allotted time. 34 percent of employees surveyed as part of the “Assessment of Paid Time off In the U.S.” study, from the U.S. Travel Association, said their employer didn’t encourage or discourage leave, but 17 percent of responding managers aid employees who took all of their leave time were less dedicated.
“Despite the myriad benefits of taking time off, American workers succumb to various pressures-some self-imposed and some from management to not take the time off to which they are entitled,” Adam Sacks, president of the Tourism Economics division of Oxford Economics, said in a statement. “Leaving earned days on the table harms, not helps, employers by creating a less productive and less loyal employee.
“Further, it is a misconception that employers are ahead of the game when workers don’t use the time they’ve earned,” he added. “In fact, stockpiled time off creates considerable financial liability for companies and governments when employees ‘cash out’ upon departure.”
Who’s Getting Paid Time Off?
The same study showed if employees would use just one more day of paid leave time per year it would create an additional output of $73 billion for the U.S. economy and create big benefits for not just employees but also businesses.
Roger Down, president and chief executive of the U.S. Travel Association, said underutilized time off is a huge missed opportunity for everyone.
At the same time, the vacation problem isn’t just about employees not utilizing their paid time off.
Last year research cited by EPI found 24% of private sector workers didn’t have Labor Day 2015 off, and about the same percentage had no paid vacation time at all. Only 34 percent of private sector employees at the bottom of the wage distribution receive paid holidays, and only 39 percent get paid vacation time.
The Advantages of Time Off
While people who have it don’t use it, and many employees don’t have it at all, vacation time, and particularly paid vacation time is good for all involved.
Project: Time Off finds that those employees who take advantage of all their vacation time raise their chances at a promotion by 6.5%, when compared to people who have 11 or more unused days.
Vacation time can also improve positive thinking, which jumpstarts innovation, creativity, and productivity.
Creating Paid Time Off Policies
You may already have a vacation or paid time off policy in place, but it isn’t working the way you’d like it to, or you may be a small business just beginning your venture into these issues as you launch a new strategy.
Regardless of which category you fall into, below are some tips and best practices to make sure your employees maximize their vacation time.
We’d like to know how you handle paid time off in your office. Who has it and how is it applied and enforced? If you don’t have paid time off, tell us what your workplace does instead, regarding time off and vacations.