When it is about vacation time, employees hardly get the time and benefit from where they are working. Ideally, there are two issues, which prevent employees in India from taking necessary vacation time: The environment at some companies discourages it, and many employers may not offer paid vacation time.
What do the reports say?
In a recent survey conducted by Expedia, it was found that India is the fourth most vacation deprived nation globally with 67% polled employees saying that they take only 15 days of leave in a year. Mumbai takes the least vacations while Delhi employees take the maximum holidays.
Going forward, about 40% of Indians cannot plan vacations in advance due to work. Indians rank fourth globally after Thailand (43%), Singapore & South Korea (42%) in vacation-deprivation. Indians also ranked second globally in cancelling holiday plans due to work (74%) after Thailand (77%). Globally, 15% feel guilty about taking their vacation days. Indians rank 4 at 20% while Japanese top the list at 26%.
Well, isn’t it time for employers to consider paid holidays for employees as an employee retention and employee engagement strategy? Realize that not taking vacations has a negative impact on employees and the company on the whole. Skipping vacation time as a way to climb the corporate ladder faster has been found to be ineffective. New studies have found that employees who take vacations annually or bi-annually perform better at work and thus secure chances of climbing up the corporate ladder than those who do not.
Organizations should re-evaluate their vacation plans and offer at least five days of paid leaves to their employees. If not this then may be sabbaticals without pay, but at least the employee gets the desired number of vacation days.
The culture of checking mails during vacation needs to stop now. Employers must take into consideration the fact that employees, come what may needs breaks from work to be able to rejuvenate themselves. Breaks allow them go stress free and once they are back from a vacation they are all charged up and are able to give their very best in their work.
Benefits of providing vocational breaks:
- They become more productive after resuming to work. An outstanding productivity is visible.
- Helps in employee retention as they will be happier and will feel positive about the employer
- It encourages independence among employees and also ensures collaboration among them.
- If an employee continues to work for long hours without taking a break for weeks or months at a stretch, it might have a negative effect on their health. This can eventually lead them to go on sick leaves for a longer period of time.
Companies in India that offer paid vacation time off to its employees, include, Airbnb, Adobe, Deloitte, PriceWaterHouseCoopers (PwC), Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
Creating a great culture at workplace:
Employers must make sure that they are able to create a conducive work culture. In order to create a great work culture, the following points can be considered:
- Create a clear vacation policy and encourage your staff to utilize it to the fullest. Some companies choose to offer compulsory leaves to employees and ensure that they do the same. Clearer the policy, more likely the staff is about to take leaves.
- Often, the culture of an organization is led by its managers and superiors. A workaholic culture within an organization can be set by behaviours of the management team. This is another reason why it is important for managers to lead by example and take time for vacations.
Remember, making regular vacation time-off a part of your office culture helps employees remain happy and more loyal to the company. And if employers have loyal employees needless to say not only employee retention will be successful but also business will grow.