For the most part, employees have proven to be very dedicated to their organizations. They invest numerous hours per week to ensure that their job is done, and done right. While productivity and dedication is invaluable, it can be found that some employees are not taking enough time for themselves. On average, employees in the United States are leaving three unused vacation days a year, which can cause them to feel overworked and unhappy. Although this largely falls on the employees, management may also need to take some responsibility.
More employers are now skewing away from the traditional methods of administering Paid Time Off (PTO) to allow their employees to be more aware of how they are using their days off and what their leave balances are.
Should We Be Encouraging Time Off?
Definitely. There are benefits for both the employee and the employer for using up PTO. For employees, it’s important for them to get away from the office, recharge, and take personal time for themselves. This personal time typically allows for more work-life balance, produces a happier employee at work, which, in turn, will have a positive impact on their performance
On the other hand, employers also see many benefits from their employees taking PTO. As previously stated, a fresh employee, particularly after taking some time off, will perform better than they would had they not taken time off. A happier employee in the workplace will most likely make them want to remain with their current employer. PTO can also be beneficial for employers because a competitive PTO plan can help to attract top talent.
With the right system in place, your organization can diminish barriers to taking PTO by providing employees constant access to their PTO balances and the ability to submit requests online. Managers will be able to review individual requests on a calendar with other team requests or approved leave in order to maintain accurate staffing levels while still enabling team members to take time off when appropriate.
You would think that management wouldn’t have to be encouraging employees to take time off, but due to some employees feeling guilty, or too overwhelmed to leave the office, we are failing to see the benefits of a properly utilized PTO plan.
Steps to Take
The most important thing that management can do is to address your employee’s hesitations to take PTO. Employees may have notions if they take time off they may be at risk of losing their job, missing out on promotions, or falling behind on work. Management has to make it clear that none of this is true and that in most cases, the most effective employees are those who do take time off. One way that you can ensure that your employees are picking up on this is to lead by example. At the end of the day, executives are also employees of the organization and it is important for leadership to take time off to recharge as well.
As we prepare to enter the New Year, it is important to make sure that we are managing PTO accurately and effectively so that this can be the most productive year yet.