Are You Guilty of “Vacation Shame” in the Workplace?


In a perfect world, from the perspective of many employers, workers would want to come to work week in and week out, never needing time off to rest and rejuvenate or to help avoid burnout. But the fact is people need time away for a variety of reasons, including to simply improve morale or take some time to reset. While most companies have reasonable vacation policies, some workplaces attach guilt to a request for time off and this attitude can actually hurt an employee’s sense of job satisfaction, lower productivity, and even lead to burn out.

If you want to make sure your business supports the need to take some time off, and doesn’t guilt employees with vacation shame, here are some methods to do just that.

Create a Vacation-Friendly Culture

To help everyone reap the benefits of taking time off to recharge, it is important to have a company culture that supports the reasonable use of vacation time. While some businesses have chosen to institute an unlimited vacation policy, allowing workers to take time off without having restrictions regarding the number of days, this isn’t a necessity as long as sufficient time off is supplied. Consider allowing PTO is be earned more quickly by moving away from traditional tenure-based schemes. You can also institute a “use or lose” policy to encourage employees to use their vacation hours within a specified time period.

As long as managers stay in tune with the needs of their workers and create mechanisms to ensure critical tasks are covered when staff members take time off, having a generous vacation policy can actually work in everyone’s favor.

Be Realistic About Productivity Shifts

It is easy for managers to worry about lost productivity when key employees are away but, in most cases, day-to-day operations are largely unaffected if a strong plan is in place. Make sure team members are cross-trained to cover each other’s duties, guaranteeing you always have coverage for priority work. Additionally, create policies regarding the use of extended vacations that require a sufficient amount of planning time before a worker is out for a planned absence.

By focusing on the planning and cross-training aspects, most organizations can ensure that all activities are well covered regardless of who is taking time off. It can also create a supportive culture, as team members understand who will be managing their work while they are away and that they are expected to do the same for others.

Often, the benefits to morale and productivity make the planning efforts worthwhile and can ensure that employees feel confident in their ability to be away from time to time since the business will suffer no ill effects.

If you are interested in expanding your team to make vacations more feasible and stear clear of vacation shame, giving you the extra manpower to support cross-training and planning, the professionals at The Advance Group can help you locate top candidates quickly. Contact us to speak with a recruitment specialist about your hiring needs today.






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