I remember as a kid, feeling excited as I packed my backpack the night before the first day of school. I had butterflies in my stomach and I would jump out of bed early the next morning with a level of energy that would have shocked “summer” me.
Of course, a few months into the school year and I was already dreaming of the lazy summer days that I had left behind. So why is it that even while enjoying a perfect summer, you still feel a little rush of excitement at the thought of getting back into your routine?
It’s because your mind, body and spirit are rested and recharged.
As adults, we forget how important it is to take a rest. Instead of giving our bodies what they need, we work longer and push harder, depleting our energy until there is nothing left.
As a leader, it is important to encourage your employees to take time off this summer to recharge so they will return to work refreshed and productive. A great way to kick off this initiative is by bringing in a leadership keynote speaker who will support you and your team by building resilience in the workplace and suggesting ways to increase business productivity during this vacation season.
Why Post-Pandemic PTO Benefits are Important for Your Employees
Adults naturally have less energy than kids. On top of that, our personal energy reserves are constantly being depleted by all that we’ve endured both personally and professionally since the start of the pandemic. At this point, your employees are likely incredibly stressed and exhausted.
Adults need summer breaks, too.
Of course, we can’t take all summer off from adulting or working, but we can find time to unplug and unwind. As the leader, it is your job to ensure your employees feel empowered to use the PTO benefits you offer.
Let’s dive into some reasons why encouraging your employees to use their vacation benefits this summer is vital to your organization’s success.
Your employees are burned out due to the sheer number of changes, uncertainties and threats that have been ever-present during the pandemic and beyond. Many employees feel as if they need to keep going or they will never catch up or get ahead. However, what they really need is to step away from work and recover.
Recovery is the key to resilience.
Being resilient is not only how your employees bounce forward from adversities, but also how they recover and recalibrate their mental, spiritual, physical and emotional energy. One of the best benefits of vacation time for employees is how it enables recovery and allows them to be more focused in order to elevate their careers.
When an employee feels empowered to use their PTO benefits, they are more likely to be more resilient once they return to work.
Building Productivity is a Bonus of Providing Paid Time Off Benefits
In order for your business to succeed, employees must be productive. Whether your organization employs a hybrid workforce or your employees work full-time in an office, it is important for you to encourage them to use their paid time off benefits this summer.
When employees push themselves to the brink of exhaustion, productivity decreases. Spending countless days at work with no break and going months without vacation leads to employees who have trouble focusing, are less motivated and are unable to produce high-quality work.
Implementing paid time off policy best practices and encouraging your team to use their employee vacation benefits are guaranteed ways to increase business productivity.
Also, it’s natural to strive to reach the finish line, so when employees know that time off is on the horizon, they will complete tasks and reach goals efficiently in order to enjoy their vacation without worrying about what they left behind at work.
Boost Work Efficiency with Employee Vacation Benefits
Teamwork makes the dream work. When everybody collaborates successfully, your organization runs efficiently, increasing your bottom line. But when employees feel overworked and underappreciated, things can quickly go south, leaving you with a decline in productivity, limited efficiency and a rise in turnover.
Encouraging your team to recharge their batteries allows them to recover and be ready to tackle whatever comes their way.
Promote Work-Life Harmony
Don’t let your employees get to the point of burnout. It is preventable by building resilience in the workplace and encouraging them to utilize their paid time off benefits. If exhaustion and stress go unchecked, it can lead to increased turnover and you will deplete your resources in training new hires.
Paid time off is vital to work-life harmony.
It enables your employees to physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually recharge and rejuvenate. In addition to these benefits of vacation time for employees, it also gives them the gift of spending time with family and friends. This can reduce stress levels and make your employees feel supported, which organically fosters a healthier, balanced work-life harmony.
Improved Retention is a Crucial Benefit of Vacation Time for Employees
When your team takes regular time off, they are less likely to experience burnout and quit, leaving your business high and dry. Encouraging employees to use their PTO benefits can increase productivity in the short term and reduce turnover in the long term.
Happy employees are productive employees.
When employees feel valued and have the resources necessary to achieve maximum productivity, they will stay. Offering paid time off and encouraging employees to take it shows them you care about their well-being and appreciate their contributions.
How You Can Encourage Employees to Take Time Off
There are a myriad of reasons why taking time off is so vital to employees’ well-being, but how do you, as the leader, create a culture where it is not only acceptable but encouraged?
Follow my tips below to ensure that the PTO benefits you offer are meeting their purpose.
Lead by Example
This sounds like an easy one, right? But too often, leaders also feel as if they cannot take time away from work. If you don’t model the behavior, your employees may not feel comfortable doing so either. They look to you for guidance on how to behave at the workplace, so by modeling the paid time off policy best practices your organization has put in place, you will show your team that taking time to recharge matters to you.
By doing this, you will demonstrate to your employees how important it is to focus on a harmonious work-life balance.
Check on Business SOP
Many employees don’t take advantage of PTO benefits they are entitled to because they are inundated with emails or fear unfinished tasks and projects will pile up in their absence. If it feels more stressful to be away from work, employees are less likely to take a vacation.
As their leader, you need to monitor and evaluate your organization’s systems and structure. For example, ensuring there are methods established for employees to back each other up when away from work is a critical way to show that you support taking time off. You can also create a policy about not contacting employees who are out of the office.
Teach About Resilience
It is vitally important that organizations teach about resilience and incorporate resilience strategies into their business values.
In today’s world, it’s easier than ever to reach extreme levels of burnout. Taking a much-needed break helps employees recharge and return stronger than ever. When employees aren’t able to rest, they become less productive and more prone to mistakes, which quickly leads to feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.
Give your employees time to recover so they can return refreshed, ready to bounce forward and prepared for anything.
You can also bring in a leadership keynote speaker to build on the practices you have put in place and help build resilience in the workplace, which is essential for your organizational success.
Reward Employees for Taking Time Off
It might seem as if time off is a reward in itself, but when employees don’t feel comfortable taking their vacation days, instituting policies that support using them may be a necessary boost.
Some companies choose to give bonus points for certain accomplishments that can be redeemed for vacation days, while others allow workers to save up time for longer trips. It is also important to let go of old systems that reward employees who are first to arrive, last to leave and take the least amount of time off.
As a leader, it is not your job to push employees to take time off. Instead, determine what factors lead to that decision and what you can do to make them feel more comfortable taking time off.
By making it more advantageous and appealing to use vacation time, leaders will improve both individual well-being and company performance, leading to greater resilience.
Develop Your Company’s Paid Time Off Practices
When you document your expectations with clear practices, you show your employees that this issue matters to you and to your organization. For example, you can provide resources or tips on how to prepare for and return from vacations without falling behind on tasks.
You can also hire a resilience keynote speaker who will encourage your team to unplug and practice building daily resilience by setting a precedent for coworkers not to contact anyone who is designated as out of office.
When you provide opportunities for employees to disconnect from work and recharge, you are setting the stage for a more productive, engaged workforce that is better equipped to meet the demands of your business and the world.
Encourage Paid Time Off to Improve Organizational Resilience
Once you’ve brought in a leadership keynote speaker, implemented best practices, encouraged employees to take time off and worked on building resilience in the workplace through recovery, you will be on the path to a healthier, more productive and happier workplace.
And when your employees are enjoying summer vacation—no matter how much fun they are having—there will be a part of them that is already excited about getting back to work.