How to Deal with Vacation Resisters

We are heading toward the end of the year. Do some of your employees still have a lot of vacation or PTO time on the books? Not only is this a financial liability for your organization, it can negatively affect employees through fatigue, poor morale, and reduced productivity.

Have you considered why people avoid the “benefit” of taking time off? Research shows some employees avoid taking vacation because they believe it increases their job security. Other employees say they avoid taking vacation because it’s just not worth coming back to a big backlog. A Dutch study published in 2012 in the Journal of Happiness Studies found people’s health and well-being rose during a vacation of two weeks or more, but sank to pre-vacation levels in the first week back on the job.

So, what are employers doing to address vacation resisters? It ranges from paying each employee $1,000 to get away and disconnect from work to requiring employees to take at least two consecutive weeks of time off each year. Surprisingly, when employees were required by their employers to take vacation, some said it was the first time in years that they have felt comfortable and confident that they can have a little relief and ease off the gas pedal.

Hopefully, employers can find a middle ground between paying employees to take vacation and directing them to do so. Now is the time to check your employees’ vacation and PTO balances and sit down with some of them to plan when they will be taking time off this year.