Somewhere along the line, not taking vacation time turned into a badge of honor. This is evident in all workers, but especially in COOs, CEOs, or even lower-level employees. At dinner parties, people brag about how much time they’ve banked up in vacation days, or feign exhaustion at the massive streak of consecutive days they’re at work.
Why has this become a thing to brag about? It’s not a good thing!
It Doesn’t Prove Anything
Besides it being a boring dinner conversation, taking no time off does not prove that you’re working hard. Instead, it just shows your priorities are way out of whack.
You can still love your job and love taking vacation time. Your life is more than your work. You should be living by the phrase “working to live” rather than “living to work.” A lot of people have begun living by the latter. That shouldn’t be how things are.
“While it’s casually talked about a lot in the business world, work/life balance is something we should all be taking more seriously. As our ability to be available for work becomes more prevalent, finding balance has never been more important!” – COO Alliance Blog
Everyone Deserves Vacation Time
As a leader, you should treat yourself to ample vacation time. If you do, it’s only fair that you extend that same courtesy to your employees.
Generous vacation time is one of the most significant contributors to creating a world-class culture in your company. Why wouldn’t you want a world-class culture? It’s the foundation of a successful business, so the amount of vacation time you allot is paramount.
So How Much Vacation Time?
How much vacation time is enough? That answer is simple—five weeks. Some people might look at that number and start ranting about wasted productivity or begin pointing at the calendar that’s already packed with government-mandated holidays and say that five weeks is overkill. If they do, what you have to say is that working “more” is not the same as working effectively.
As a business leader, you need to understand that tired, burnt out employees aren’t just useless, they’re downright destructive. Sloppy errors, missed deadlines, mediocre work—that is not the kind of effort that helps business leaders grow their company. Giving sufficient vacation time is one of the best ways you can make sure those errors are avoided.
More Than Just A Job
Just about any job in the world becomes just a “job” if you are at it too much. You want employees that are inspired by their work, not ones that feel drained and push themselves to keep going just because they need the job. Spreading five weeks of vacation time throughout the year allows everyone to recharge and keep enthusiasm high.
Giving generous time off also makes it easier to attract inspired and talented people that will surely care about their work. Never underestimate the power of vacation time when employees are choosing places to work. Make yours the best in town, then watch potential employees flock to you.
A Step Further
If you want it to be the most effective, you can go a step further and educate your staff members on making the most out of their vacation time. These can be tips for spreading weeks throughout the year, being sure to take time off during the mid-winter when everyone starts feeling down, or even splitting up five days and using them to make long weekends even longer during summertime.
To put this all simply, to get more out of your employees, give them more time off. They’ll thank you and you’ll be thankful you did it. Give it a try!
If you have questions or would like more information, I’d be happy to help. Please send an email, and my team will get in touch with you!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2017 and has been edited for accuracy and comprehensiveness.