Use it or lose it: encourage your staff to take annual leave

What could be better than staff prepared to work all year-round? Isn't that the kind of dedication you should be encouraging? Not exactly. Holidays offer many benefits for your employees – and your business. That's why it's important to encourage staff to take annual leave.

A quarter of employees forgo accrued holidays

Research conducted by Robert Half found that only 70 per cent of finance employees take all their annual leave days. A quarter don’t take their full holiday allowance, and 5 per cent said they weren't sure whether they did.

With such a substantial number of employees choosing to forgo holidays, the responsibility for making sure they get downtime falls on their managers. Time off work is important for health and wellbeing, and it also helps increase productivity.

The negative impact of missed holidays

Organisations where staff don’t take their accrued holidays reported a number of problems, including an impact on:

  • Business productivity (48 per cent).
  • The company's financial liability (45 per cent).
  • Individual productivity (38 per cent).
  • Staff morale (13 per cent).

Staying on top of your holiday policies can be crucial – these problems could far outweigh the benefits of having a workforce prepared to stay at their desk come rain or shine.

Popular holiday policies

Companies where employees take all their holidays tend to have rules in place to ensure high uptake. More than half (53 per cent) of businesses said their staff must use their days by a certain date, whether that's the end of the calendar or financial year. A substantial number (34 per cent) had a policy on how many days employees could accrue, and 6 per cent had both. A small number of businesses (7 per cent) said they had other restrictions.

Energising your workforce

Creating an environment that encourages taking accrued holiday leave offers the opportunity to improve the mood and productivity of your workers. It can also help you better manage your workforce. Avoid a glut on last-minute holiday requests by making it easy to apply for accrued annual leave and responding to requests in a positive way.

Don't sit back and allow staff to run themselves ragged or accidentally miss out on the annual leave they're due. Take a proactive stance and urge them to make the most of their holidays.

Share This Page