A week or more of vacation can bolster engagement, survey shows
- Employees who take a week or more of vacation time are more engaged than those who don't, a new O.C. Tanner survey found. The poll of more than 1,000 workers across the U.S. showed that for those who take sufficient vacation time, there is a positive correlation between work ethic and employee engagement.
- Among employees who take a week or more of vacation, 70% say they're driven to contribute to their organization's success, as opposed to the 55% who don't regularly take a week of vacation; 65% say they feel strongly about working for their organization a year from now, compared to 51% who don't take a week off in the summer; and 63% say they have a sense of belonging at their company, compared to 43% percent of respondents who skip at least a week of vacation time.
- Although workplaces feel the strain of worker shortages due to summer vacations, encouraging employees to take sufficient time off can pay off in engagement, retention and productivity, O.C. Tanner said.
Many employees have trouble taking their allotted vacation because they feel guilty about taking time off, think they're the only one who can do their job or believe their company's culture discourages taking full vacation time. But there are consequences for skipping vacations; for example, a 2017 CareerBuilder study revealed that people who don't take enough time off are more stressed, which can lead to health problems, absenteeism and lower productivity.
Burned out employees aren't likely to feel engaged or committed to their job, so HR may want to create a clear vacation policy — and instill a vacation-friendly culture — to encourage employees to take time off. Some have toyed with making vacation mandatory, while others have tried adopting an "unlimited" (or, at least, untracked) vacation system to encourage people to take the time they need. Some also prohibit employees from carrying vacation time over into a subsequent year, a method that can keep workers from leaving vacation days "on the table."