Why leaders should encourage their team to take vacation

It may seem counter productive for your team to take vacation - after all, they won't be in the office. But making the most of time off means better quality time on

Put your money where your mouth is

It turns out it’s actually profitable to pay employees to take vacation. The U.S. Travel Association found that financial incentives to promote vacation day utilization work – and don’t cost the company in the end. In 2013, the Association discovered that only 19% of their employees were taking all their vacation time. The number soared to 91% the following year, when they offered a $500 bonus to staffers who used their days.

The organization’s CEO, Roger Dow, also made a number of statements about how critical it was to take time off. Employees also received updates about how many vacation days they had left. These efforts resulted in the company reducing its financial liability from unused time off by $36,345.

Clearly communicating vacation policies is one thing, but putting a financial incentive in place shows the employee that you mean it. Show your employees that you know how important it is for them to use their time off effectively, and that it would be great if they could take part in a new experience or travel with their earned time off.

Encourage time off to get the most of time on

In this tight labour market, companies are trying to figure out how to attract and retain the happiest, healthiest, most productive talent. Re-framing a standard legal benefit into a tool for recharging and productivity – not to mention it’s something employees highly value – can have more of a positive cultural impact than you might anticipate.

The logic is simple: employees want it and it’s better for business. Turns out, one of the best things for productivity is to encourage employees to leave the office for a bit.

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Erica Pearson is the founder and CEO of Vacation Fund

Photo courtesty Dejan Zakic on Unsplash

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