Human Resources News & Insights

One benefit employees aren’t using: Vacation time

Offering generous benefits may attract tons of talent, but it could be a retention killer if employees can’t use them.

A recent telephone poll of 627 U.S. workers by Right Management revealed that 46% of them didn’t take all of their vacation time in 2010.

However, employees did find the time kick back a bit more last year than in 2009, when 66% of workers said they didn’t use all of their vacation time.

Still, it’s a troubling sign for employers that workers either can’t or don’t feel like they can get away from the office.

Productivity booster

It’s no secret that taking a vacation can positively affect work-life balance, health and productivity.

When workers don’t take enough vacation, the odds of them suffering from stress or burning out increase dramatically. Workers can also come to resent their employer if it touts a generous benefits package that includes lots of vacation time, yet offers no relief from their duties to allow for time off.

And you know what all of that can lead to — high turnover.

So with many businesses stabilizing after the recession, now might be the time to remind staffers to take a break, and help them find co-workers to fill in for them while they’re gone.

Some words of encouragement that’ll help convince workers it’s OK to take a few days off: Your job will be here when you get back.

One side effect of the recent economic swoon: Many still worry that if they leave their jobs (even for a few days) and someone fills in adequately, it may be a sign they’re not vital. Reassure workers that won’t be the case.

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