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Best practices for employee vacation time

People around the world look forward to the employer-provided days they’re allotted for vacation. It’s a time to unplug from company email and spend time relaxing. Unfortunately, many workers fail to take full advantage of their employee vacation time, and many are leaving some of the days unused, according to a report from Project Time Off, an initiative of the U.S. Travel Association. It’s important for people to use these days, as taking a break can improve productivity and employer satisfaction.

It’s smart for businesses to share the benefits of paid time off and encourage their employees to use it. While that’s the first step, there are also other important elements of vacation time human resources leaders should make workers aware of. Let’s look at some best practices for employee vacation people should follow:

A device detox can help employees truly enjoy their vacation.

Mitigate responsibility

One of the largest reasons why people are so hesitant to take time off is because of the mountain of work they will have when they return. To employees, losing a day or two of productivity may not be worth the vacation days. It is HR teams’ responsibility to not only assure workers of the importance of PTO, but to put a system in place for managing critical tasks during their absences.

Sometimes it’s not as simple as people just creating an out-of-office email directing clients to another person. This practice could still leave employees with hundreds of messages to sift through upon returning to the office. Instead, organizational leaders need to find a way to help both vacationing workers and their clients during this time. If that means forwarding all emails to a manager or allowing a higher up to respond to messages during a person’s absence, then so be it. This way, traveling employees feel less stress and all constituents are taken care of.

“HR teams should make sure their PTO policy is easy for workers to understand.”

Clarify the policy

Employees worry about their reputation when they take advantage of the days they’re allotted through an organization’s vacation policy. If the rules themselves are vague and confusing, workers will be even less likely to use the benefit, which can have a negative effect on their happiness in the workplace. It’s crucial for company executives to develop a PTO plan that is comprehensible for employees at all levels of the business, according to Inc. magazine.

Employers who offer 20 days of PTO should not only expect workers to use this time, they should encourage it. The same goes for organizations who provide unlimited time off. Workers often take less vacation when policies with no restrictions are in place because they don’t want to overuse their PTO. It is HR’s job to make sure people feel comfortable taking time off, instead of guilty for doing so.

Give devices a break

In today’s world, everyone is connected at every moment of the day. We check our phones when we wake up and before we go to sleep. This is a dangerous habit, but it’s even more so when workers are trying to enjoy some time off from work. Forbes suggested a device detox to help employees truly appreciate their vacation and worry less about what’s happening outside their current situation.

HR leaders can encourage traveling workers to sign out of their company email and redirect any work-related calls or messages to the person in charge during their absence. While this may be difficult, it will be very beneficial for employees in the long run. Not having to worry about certain obligations will enable people to enjoy their time off as much as possible and return to the office ready to work.

Vacation time is beneficial for both companies and their employees. Although it’s understandable workers would worry about their workload during their absence, businesses must educate people on the advantages of taking time off. With a little reassurance from their organization’s leaders, employees will feel more at ease while they’re on vacation and return to the workplace feeling refreshed, happy and supported by their employers. 

SBS Payroll™ offers companies a variety of software options to make the time and attendance procedure more efficient. To ensure employees’ vacation time is enjoyable for them and manageable for HR teams, the solution enables workers to add their paid time off days into the system so businesses have enough time to plan.Contact us to learn about employee vacation time and payroll, HR and HCM services

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