Help Your Employees Unplug

Loyal, motivated employees are the foundation of any good organization. Their dedication and passion create a positive work environment and increase organizational productivity, but sometimes loyal employees find it difficult to avoid burnout. Studies show that the average American full-time employee works 47 hours each week and 52% of those employees report not taking their allocated vacation time. While you may appreciate their enthusiasm and loyalty, HR professionals realize that extended engagement without self-care can result in burnout. For this reason, many employers are offering additional incentives to their employees to not only take vacation days but to unplug during their vacation.

Burnout can cause incredible stress to our employees and decrease the organization’s ability to be successful. While your employees are essential, encouraging their disconnection from phone and e-mail while on vacation allows them time for self-care and recuperation. Regular vacation days result in less burnout, improved morale, better mental health, and increased productivity at work. According to a study done by the Harvard Business Review, employees who take at least eleven vacation days a year are 30% more likely to earn a raise and/or promotion due to their improved performance.

While downtime and disconnecting are essential to the success of an employee, it is often difficult for them to understand the connection between taking time off and improving their performance. Often, employees report they do not use their vacation days because they are afraid of leaving colleagues stranded. When they do, they are attentive to their phone and e-mail for the same reason, never really allowing time to disconnect. This is more of an issue for those who lead a team or a department, they are more likely to opt for no vacation than feel they are letting down their team or employer.

Leaders and managers have a responsibility to help employees understand the connection between taking time off and increased performance. Employees should see that you offer vacation benefits, not only as a tool to attract applicants, but as appreciation for our employees and a tool for recuperation and rest. To do this, many organizations have turned to financial incentives. If an employee disconnects they will be given additional monetary compensation or incentives.

From offering a dollar amount to offering perks in the office, employers across the U.S. are recognizing the need to encourage their employees to use their vacation time. Companies that offer these incentive programs see positive results through improved performance and increased profits. In some cases, it can be as simple as requiring vacation days be used and following up to ensure that they are.  Work-life balance is important for the health of your employees and the success of your organization. Utilizing additional incentive programs to encourage employees to unplug can improve this balance, employee satisfaction, and organizational success.

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