There is a sort of irony that exists in business today. Companies will fork over thousands of dollars and hundreds of man hours in order to hire the very best talent for their open positions. But, as soon as that person has been hired, the effort is ceased. Overworked, under constant pressure, and made to feel guilty about taking time off, those prized candidates quickly burn out. Two-thirds of employees admit that their employers do not speak about PTO, or the importance of vacation time, unless a request is submitted. A smaller, but still significant percentage report that they are fearful that requesting time off is just another form of rocking the boat.
After working so hard to secure that talent, you should do what you can to hold onto the people who bring it to your workforce. Much of that comes down to given those individuals time to unwind. Vacation is important for mental, emotional, and even physical wellbeing, and this is the message that should be openly portrayed to your employees, so they are not afraid to request time off.
Avoid statements that can discourage an employee from taking the vacation and enjoying the time off. Too often, bosses unintentionally give the impression that they are annoyed with the request. Talking about “holding off on projects until you return” or asking “will you be able to check emails while you are away?” should be avoided. The first serves as a sort of warning to the employee that there will be work piling up while he or she is away. The latter implies that the time off isn’t really time off from the job.
In addition to encouraging your employees to take the break, you should do the same. When you are leading by example, others will not feel as though their vacation time is a burden.