Vacations Can Increase Employee Satisfaction and Productivity

May 19, 2015

Vacations Can Increase Employee Satisfaction and Productivity

Who would choose sitting at a desk in the office over soaking up the sun on a beach? Turns out, some employers believe that employees are more interested in better benefits rather than more vacation time. But, many employees desire more paid time off. While taking vacations can cause some stress—the planning, packing, and preparing to be off work, taking time out of the office to relax and recharge can actually increase productivity!

According to Forbes, almost 430 million vacation days were left unused by American workers in 2013. Actually avoiding taking vacation can harm productivity. But, almost half of Americans say a heavy workload causes them to save up those days and then, in the end, not use them. Why? Some people believe managers don't support leave or time off. Employees may want to appear as dedicated as possible to their jobs and employers. While creating a workplace environment that motivates employees to be dedicated to reaching the organization's goals is admirable and desirable, managers should also promote vacations by setting an example for their employees. For example, managers should set the tone that it is not only acceptable to take vacation and paid time off, but encouraged. In addition, while on vacation, they should avoid checking in with the office unless absolutely necessary. Setting that example encourages employees to use—and enjoy—their vacation benefits.

Another harmful consequence of not taking time off is decreased productivity and increased stress levels. Not taking the time to step away from work can create an environment with unhealthy levels of stress, resulting in a lack of motivation and productivity. Giving employees the opportunity to take a day away from the routine at the office will allow them to come back fully charged and energized—and possibly with new ideas they wouldn't have thought of while sitting in front of a project for days on end. Creativity flow can occasionally be blocked by high stress and anxiety. With the right environment and acceptable paid time off, the creativity and productivity levels of employees should soar.

Allowing employees to take paid vacation and get away from the mundane moves of Monday through Friday can also help increase employee retention. Benefiting employees with more vacation days shows the company's commitment to their employees' life balance and health. For example, Netflix offered unlimited time off, and this actually increased employee retention and engagement. Their mantra is to look at the work employees get done, not at how many days they actually worked.

Giving your employees the freedom of unlimited vacation days may be a bit frightening, or might possibly not be a good move for your company. However, taking inventory of how your current vacation plan is working for your employees is always a great way to understand its worth and improve going forward. ZERORISK HR offers a variety of programs to help you and your management create the best possible workplace environment, hire and retain top talent, and implement practices to improve employee and employer satisfaction.

ZERORISK helps organizations build great cultures by identifying, developing, and retaining top talent. The ZERORISK Hiring System blends a revolutionary behavioral science with state-of-the-art technology to reduce unwanted turnover and improve employee performance. For more information contact us at (800) 827-5991.

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