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Why should managers encourage employee vacations?

Most of us enjoy taking time off occasionally, but why should managers encourage vacations?  And what does that look like?


Several of us have either worked with or known a manager who is not a fan of employee time off.  They may state they’re fine with it, but they also make it clear that your work must get done and they shouldn’t be inconvenienced.  What does that do to employee morale and how does that affect productivity on a day-to-day basis? In both cases, it typically has a negative effect.


Part of the fun of vacation is looking forward to it.  But if we dread letting our manager know, it adds stress and resentment.  Employees concerned about the negative reaction will often put off the vacation request, too, meaning there is less time for businesses to plan. In addition, when the employee returns, they may fear the return to office and what awaits, compounding their stress and potentially removing the benefit of down time they had during their vacation!


I tend to hold onto my time off, feeling comfort in the number of days in “the bank,” but we all need to unplug from time to time, and, as managers, we need to encourage our staff to do just that. Do you know how much time off your staff has accumulated?  Have you ever encouraged any of them to take time off? Are you sincere in telling them you want them to enjoy themselves? Do you help them prepare by asking what you can take care of while they’re gone and help them catch up when they return?


Getting away from our daily responsibilities can offer new perspectives and regenerate our interest in the work we do.  Think of times you obsess over a problem and don't see the solution unless/until you step away from it for a little while.  This can lead to those 2 a.m. “ah ha” moments, providing insight to resolve the issue!  Time off can do the same thing on a broader scale.


Encouraging staff to step away, enjoy themselves, reconnect with their families and/or see new places can bring benefits to the workforce.  It can lead to better attitudes and sometimes renewed appreciation for our jobs!  If you don’t do what you can to encourage your employees to step away, you lose most if not all benefits from allowing your staff to take time off.  Encouraging them to step away (and meaning it) can lead to better productivity, better attitudes, and better retention.


So take some time off and encourage your staff to do the same!



A view of the Colorado Rockies
Colorado Rockies

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