10 Reasons Employers Should Insist Employees take a Vacation


Summer is the traditional vacation time.  Will you be taking your vacation this year?  Lots of employees in the US don’t take vacation time and instead work straight through.  I’ve written before on this topic.  You can read Ten Reasons Everyone Needs a Vacation.  This list looks at vacations from the employee perspective.  Many people don’t take vacation because they don’t see their manager taking one and they fear repercussions if they take a vacation. Here are 10 reasons that employers should insist their employees take a vacation.

  1. Enhances Creativity and Productivity. Rested, relaxed and happy employees are more creative and will be more productive. It may seem as though someone would accomplish more if they stayed at work and did not take a vacation but studies show this is not correct.  When employees work without a break they tend to take more time to do the work.
  2. Decrease in the number of sick days taken.  Overworked employees who do not get vacation time are more likely to take sick days.
  3. Decrease in stress and fatigue have financial impact. Premiums on insurance will go up if your employees have stress and fatigue related illnesses.
  4. Forces employer to make backup plans. You will be forced to figure out a coverage plan for the vacationing employee.  A backup plan for every employee is important to have.  You never know when someone will be sick or have an emergency that keeps them out of the office.  Learning to get along while they are on vacation forces you to have a backup plan in place.
  5. Uncover the skeletons and employee fraud. You will find out where the skeletons are.  If an employee has not attended to business or has forgotten to document something it will be evident when they are away.  This is a good chance to give constructive feedback when they return. If an employee is stealing or committing fraud they need total control of their work.  Those employees will refuse to take vacations. It is unlikely that this will happen to you but insisting on vacations for everyone will route it out.
  6. Learn to prioritize. You and the employee will be forced to prioritize both before and after the employee goes on vacation.  If there are urgent issues the employee must take care of before he/she leaves, make sure they get done.  If there are tasks that must be done daily, have the employee explain them to the covering person.
  7. Develop or update job descriptions. It will give you a chance to review the job responsibilities of the vacationer.  Are the responsibilities getting done adequately?  Should you add or subtract responsibilities? If you do not have a written job description this is a good time to write one.
  8. Cross train employees.  It will give you an opportunity to cross train another employee for this job.
  9. Fosters meaningful work and engaged employees.  Employees who get adequate time off and vacation time are more likely to be engaged in their work and want to stay in the job.  They see their jobs as meaningful work.
  10. Forces management to take a vacation too. You won’t feel guilty taking your vacation because everyone will have time off.  If you were thinking of skipping your vacation, think again.  Modeling the behavior you want to inspire in your employees is important.  “Do as I say not as I do” doesn’t work.  What is true for your employees is true for you too.

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