Vacation Shouldn’t Be a 4-Letter Word
Vacation Time is Not a Luxury
Before we tackle the details of providing vacation time or PTO for employees, let’s make something clear: vacation time is not a luxury. Vacations are essential for recharging employees and inspiring productivity. Employers who complicate or deny vacation time will lose valuable employees; in spirit if not in physicality.
The United States is among the most vacation-deprived nations. This translates to unhappy workers who go through the motions of their jobs without creativity. In fact, many employees resent their bosses. How can a person who resents you want to improve your organization? So, giving your employees a break is not only kind, it’s good business.
Vacation Time is Not a Secret: Communicate
Some employers think that if they ignore the issue of vacation time, employees might forget they have it. If they forget they have it, they won’t use it. Problem solved. This is a dangerous idea. You have a vacation policy so stand behind it with pride and make sure your employees know it well.
A proactive approach to communicate vacation policies will prevent a “vacation scramble” in which an employee takes a vacation they didn’t want or need. No one benefits from a vacation scramble. You want your employee to come back rested, grateful, and ready to tackle new challenges, not annoyed that they didn’t use the time more wisely.
Incentivize Your Interests
As an organization, you’ll have times that are more popular for vacations. Develop incentives to vacation at times convenient for the company. You can give employees an extra vacation day, for example, if they vacation during off-season.
Encourage Vacation Use
When deciding on ways to incentivize your interests, you may consider paying employees not to use their time. This is a popular concept, but it is flawed. Vacations provide benefits that bonuses cannot. Consider a plan that puts a cap on how many vacation days can be paid out. This will ensure employees take time while reducing overuse.
While vacationing employees can be viewed as an expense for companies, it is also a huge opportunity. Modern vacation policies will attract talent and keep talent where you want it. Don’t let the bottom lines blind you to future pay outs.
Develop an approach to managing the flow of vacation requests. If you have successfully defined and communicated your policies, there should be a system for approval. Be prompt about reviewing, approving, and providing coverage for vacation requests. These are policies that should be introduced during orientation and revisited annually.
A couple of months before the most active vacation season, remind employees of the policies. Gather potential coverage options and begin communicating with them. Ask employees who have had vacation requests approved to start detailing what projects will need attention in their absence.
Cover Employees with Enthusiasm
A checklist of procedures to go through for a relaxing vacation is mutually beneficial. The employee should generate a vacation response for voicemail, email, and written correspondences. The contact information for covering communications that cannot be delayed until a vacationing employee’s return should be included on all responses.
While You Were Out
Make sure your employees know what you will do in the event you need to contact them while they are on vacation. What communication method will you use? Be sure they know you will only use it as a last resort. Respect their time and they will respect yours.
When someone returns from a vacation, make them feel welcome. You want them to feel missed, but not overwhelmed. Instruct people who provide coverage to provide clear notes regarding any details they need. Don’t forget to ask them about their trip!
Introduce, Review, Repeat
To summarize, vacation policies need to be introduced early in employment and reviewed annually. Employers should keep in mind that policies can change when they no longer work. Always use the right vacation request forms for proper HR recordkeeping. In fact, involving employees in vacation planning may help you understand they motivations and address them more effectively.
Your response to vacation and PTO will determine whether employees feel valued. When you make their mental health a priority, your organization will benefit. Eventually, we can begin competing with other countries that have happier, more inventive employees. Let’s take a vacation!
Credit for this small business article goes to NECHES FCU, Port Neches, TX.
Neches FCU is a leading Texas credit union and has an awesome team of professionals ready to service all members.
When the doors open at any of the 9 service outlets, the mission of Ultimate Member Satisfaction becomes the driving force for every employee. They are known for a personal, dynamic and fast-paced work atmosphere, delivering a memorable service experience, and where all members are known by their name.