Workplace studies have shown that vacations are essential to keeping people happy and productive at work. Vacations promote creativity by helping us reconnect with ourselves. They also help stave off burnout, reduce stress, keep family relationships strong (essential for maintaining motivation and a positive attitude at work), and improve quality of life. Yet many jewelers—especially smaller organizations—have no vacation, sick day, or personal day policies in place.
Regardless of the size of your business, labor laws require you to have a formal policy detailing your vacation, sick day, and personal day guidelines. Even if you don’t take full advantage of these policies, it’s important that you offer them to your employees. And you should never penalize them or make them feel guilty for wanting to take time off that they’re entitled to.
Health experts say up to half of all employees do not take annual vacations, and even when they do, they often bring work with them or stay in constant contact with the office via cell phone, pager, e-mail, text messaging, and other electronic means. Reasons vary why many are reluctant to leave the job behind. Culprits include guilt about missing work, pressure from bosses or co-workers, fear that pending projects or the business itself will suffer in our absence, or fear that things will go too smoothly and we’ll be seen as expendable. Such concerns keep people in the same work mindset that time off should allow an escape from.
Vacations and other paid time off are great incentives that will cost you nothing but payroll you were already going to spend. In general, we’ve found that about 90 percent of the employees we deal with would rather have paid time off for exceptional performance than any other incentive.
Besides vacations, paid time off can be a way to give perks to top performers. With current travel deals, you may be able to offer people a paid weekend getaway that will keep them happy and motivated and still not break your budget.