Alison Green, of the prominent Ask a Manager
HR blog, says there are four things every HR manager can do to make sure employees take time off.
Lead by example
– “Your team will take cues from you,” says Green. “That means that you need to take vacations yourself, and not talk about how difficult it is to get away.”
Lighten the load
– “Most of the time when people aren’t taking time off, it’s not because they don’t want to but because their workload is so high that they don’t know how to make it happen,” explains Green.
“Sit down with people and say, ‘I want to make sure we find a way for you to get time off this year. Let’s talk through what we can do to ensure that you’re able to take a real vacation some time this year.’ Then back that up with action: Find ways to cover their work while they’re gone, and be willing to push back deadlines or other obstacles that make it hard for them to ever get away.”
Active encouragement – “
If someone has a slow period coming up, point it and out suggest it’s a good time to take some time off,” suggests Green. “If they haven’t taken time off in a while, point it out and ask what needs to happen for them to be able to get away.”
The right environment – “
Create an environment that supports people in taking time away,” urges Green. “Treat time off as a normal and expected part of work life, not as a crisis or aberration.”
According to Green, that means staying well clear of saying things like ‘While you’re away, could you call in for just this one important conference call?’ or throwing last-minute work at anyone who’s just about to leave for a week or two.
More like this:
Most common route to CHRO revealed
Major European country adopts 6-hour work day
Far out Friday: Five crazy excuses for calling in sick