Business Benefits Of Encouraging Leave
As we approach the end of the calendar year, months of hectic activity seems to wind down as the weather heats up. Our problem is we can’t switch off! A survey of Aussie workers revealed the equivalent of 2.4 million workers had not taken annual leave in more than a year.
As a leader, you might think that’s a good thing because you’re getting the most out of your employees’ time. Presenteeism proves that’s false. When workers are present but not fully productive, it costs Australian businesses up to $7 billion a year.
Another problem with accrued leave: it’s no good for your balance sheet.
There are many reasons why employees hang on to their leave. They could be worried about the increased workload upon returning, fear the team will be understaffed or save up the balance for a more extended holiday (which may not even happen). Regardless, not taking annual leave leads to stress and increased risk of serious illness due to being overworked.
So, how can you help your people (and business) stay healthy and productive by encouraging leave? Here are three simple ways:
Know when you’re slow
Encourage employees to take leave during less busy periods. Communicate the times that are traditionally slower for your business. That gives staff the chance to make plans and apply for leave during those times.
The benefit: This will alleviate the fear of things not getting done or work piling up. Also, if you have different peak times for various business areas, that means your office won’t be totally empty.
Offer travel discounts
Leverage the relationships you might already have with travel and accommodation suppliers to offer staff some discounts. This will make it more enticing for them to take time off and travel.
The benefit: This costs you nothing. Plus, it shows you have a positive attitude towards taking time off and makes your employees happier to give their best at work.
Inform your teams
Create ways for everyone to be aware of when others are on leave. You could set up a shared calendar or document that people can update in real-time.
Also, provide your staff with access to information on how much leave they have at their disposal. Why not send out reminders to employees with higher than average leave balances?
The benefit: It’s a great way to manage under-staffing issues that may arise.
Help your people wind down, be more productive and stay healthy with a bit of a nudge towards taking annual leave.