Improve Employee Retention By Letting Them Work Less

2 min read
Jan 5, 2015

vacations improve employee retentionIn school, we had mandatory breaks: winter, spring, and summer. In the professional world, we’re given PTO and the choice to use it when we want. But some companies have created a culture that discourages time off. These companies risk driving employees to burnout, which leads to them leaving.

Want to improve your company's employee retention? Give them a break!

A study by the U.S. Travel Association uncovered the link between organizational culture and time off:

  • 32% of workers say their employer encourages taking PTO

  • 80% of workers say they’d take more PTO if their boss fully supported or encouraged them

Simply put, employees feel that their managers are their biggest obstacle when it comes to taking time off.

A Guilty Holiday

Take the holidays for example: Managers can instill a sense of guilt by not talking about vacations around that time of the year. Doing so leaves an unspoken implication that people shouldn’t be taking vacations. And employees don’t want to be the first one to raise their hand to ask for time off for fear of getting demoted or fired.

Happy Productivity

When an employee is overworked, they become bitter about their job. Every task—and even just going to work in the morning—is full of resentment. However, a recent study showed that 35% of employees feel better about their job and are more productive after they come back from vacation.

Encouraging an employee to step away from work once in a while will keep their mind fresh. A happy employee is more willing to put in extra effort into their work, which will increase productivity.

Derail The Burnout

Companies that push employees to constantly work overtime, then discourage time off, are actually pushing their employees to quit. Burnout is one of the top culprits for employees leaving companies. But taking time off—whether one day or five—can reduce this risk.

This study proved that 88% of employees agree that taking time off gives them a much-needed opportunity to de-stress and avoid burnout. It’s understandable that big projects require extra attention and work. So why not reward employees by giving them the day off after they’ve completed the project?

Building a culture that encourages employees to take time off benefits the employees by preventing burnout. As for the company’s benefit? You can look forward to higher productivity and retention.



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