Don’t make your employees feel guilty for taking annual leave.
Studies suggest that after a holiday, workplace productivity increases, mental health is improved and life expectancy can be extended.
Paid annual leave is an employment entitlement that all Australian workers receive under the National Employment Standards.
Why then, do so many employees take pride in banking their annual leave and saving it for a rainy day?
Here are a few theories:
Irrespective of the reasons, it is vital that you support your workers and encourage annual leave – without the guilt trip.
If you are a small to medium business and have workers who you cannot afford to do without, even for a holiday, you have a risk to your business that needs to be addressed.
Subject matter experts are difficult to clone, but everyone needs a break. Put their work on hold if you cannot get another to fill in.
If they are the sole keeper of “tools of the trade” then you will need to get that information out of their head fast. The last thing you want is for them to leave your business and take all that information with them.
From a commercial point of view, the annual leave balances of your workers are carried as a liability on your books. Each time you increase salaries, the liability amount increases.
The benefits of a break are endless. Taking time out allows workers to refresh, refocus and bring new vigour to their role.
As a business owner, lead by example and take time out to ensure you are bringing energy, enthusiasm and new ideas to the business to keep it fresh.
Shannon Kuykendall, CEO of her own business, Up Automation, makes taking holidays a part of the company culture. She acknowledges “when I take care of myself, I can better take care of my clients and my team”.
Instead of a few days here and there, take at least one break each year for at least two weeks. Often it will take the first week to really switch off. The second week is when the magic happens. The real relaxation seeps in and leads to a re-energised, creative state of body and mind.
Tips before annual leave starts;
Upon return from leave, take time to ask the worker about the trip before getting straight into business. Nothing ruins a holiday glow or caused disengagement faster than a pile of work to get through that has been saved up.
Consider deleting all emails that have amassed while on leave. Organise a catch up with a manager or colleague for the lay of the land. Reading through copious emails can amount to hours of unproductive time.
Take a break, start planning a holiday and explore the world. It will provide a different perspective and help get you in touch with what is really important in your life.
When you return to the office you may find that you are more engaged and have more clarity and focus.
If you need support with a Leave Policy or want clarification on Leave entitlements, get in touch with us at email@example.com