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Encouraging Employees to Take Vacation Can Benefit Business

In the past few years, jobs have been scarce and as a result, employees are terrified of joining the ranks of the unemployed.  This has created a work culture where employees are reluctant to take vacation days.  According to one survey only 38% of Americans actually take all their allotted vacation time.  Employees see taking time off as a showing of weakness and they want to demonstrate they are more dedicated to their jobs than their coworkers.  While it seems admirable, this can lead to serious issues at work.  Employees who do not take time off burn out quicker and are more stressed than their well rested co-workers.  This can result in lower productivity, a lack of creativity, and low morale. 

You should encourage your employees to take all their accrued days off each year.  One way to do this is to institute a “use it or lose it” approach, where employees cannot carry over days to the next year and will not get paid for any unused days upon discharge.  If you do this, you must explain the rationale or you may look unreasonable.  Also, track vacation use throughout the year and give your employees a progress report halfway through the year so they know you truly want them to take a break.  You should remain as flexible as possible in allowing the employee their requested days off and even go so far as to suggest employees take time off when you are slow.  By creating a work culture where vacation is seen as a positive investment in the employees, both employers and employees will benefit.  Also, your company will have one more reason why the public sees your company as the employer of choice in your community or industry. 

Brody and Associates regularly advises management on complying with state and federal employment laws including wage and hour laws.  If we can be of assistance in this area, please contact us at info@brodyandassociates.com or 203.965.0560.