Managing A Team 101: Holidays
Oftentimes, the idea of keeping track of your staff’s holiday allowance can feel like a big chore. It breeds feelings of frustration and exasperation. However, you need to look at it from your employees’ point of view. Holidays can do wonders for your employee’s mental health, their job satisfaction, and even improve their performance. So let’s get into it.
Your Legal Obligations
Owning and running a business in the UK means that your employees are entitled to a certain number of holidays. For example, a full-time employee who works 37.5 hours a week is entitled to 28 days of paid leave annually. Any employee who works part-time will have a different legal entitlement depending on the number of days/hours that they work. Some industries also provide their employees with paid time off for bank holidays too. You need to ensure that your employees receive their full legal holiday entitlement to ensure that you are compliant with employment legislation.
What Makes People Reluctant to Use Their Holidays?
There are several factors that may be making your staff reluctant to take all of their holidays. Firstly, the size of their workload. If they have a lot to do, then they might feel a lot of anxiety around taking time off, fearing that they are going to fall behind. This makes them reluctant to take any time off, and they choose not to use their holidays. Sometimes this pressure comes from other people in the workplace. Small comments made by colleagues and managers about workloads, inconvenience and dedication, can plague your employees and make them feel as though they shouldn’t take their holidays. Finally, some businesses allow employees to carry over their unused holidays into the next year and add them to their holiday allowance for that year, allowing them to accrue more time off.
The Benefits of Taking Holidays
There are a number of benefits to taking holidays. First and foremost, it can help to decrease the levels of stress among your employees. A workforce that is too stressed is not going to get as much work done as a well-rested and relaxed one. Everyone will need a break every now and again, and it is not a reflection on their work ethic or their levels of job satisfaction.
Overworked staff can also be dangerous; they are more likely to make mistakes and cause a hazard within the workplace. Depending on the industry in which you are working, these mistakes could prove fatal. Holidays allow staff to have a break and recharge. They then return relaxed and with a renewed sense of self.
Some companies have a culture that encourages people to not take their holidays, whether knowingly or not. Workers are praised for forgoing their holidays in favour of working straight through. However, if your business participates in this idea, you could lose staff. Workers could leave because they feel the environment is unhealthy or unfair.
Your Role as a Manager
As a manager, there are several things that you can do to encourage your staff to take their full allowance of holidays. Firstly, you need to create and distribute a holiday policy. It should outline their allowances and the processes they need to follow to book their holidays. Myhrtoolkit has HR software for small businesses with a number of features like holiday tracking and booking systems, absence trackers, and performance reviews. This can help you understand your team better, and enhance your overall HR department.
You could also post little reminders on the company noticeboard or send out mass emails to remind your staff to book their holidays. Doing things like this can also go a long way in ensuring that your business has a positive culture when it comes to holidays too. Staff feel as though they are being encouraged to use them as opposed to avoiding them.
Finally, as a manager, you need to be seen to be leading by example. This means taking your holidays and always using your full allowance too. In addition to this, you should also be working to impress upon your staff the importance of taking time off of work. Discuss what a healthy work/life balance looks like. You can also talk about the effect that holidays can have on your mental and physical health.
As someone in a managerial role, in whatever capacity, you need to do your best to adjust your mindset when it comes to holidays. Holidays are not just a perk; they are a legal requirement that can actually benefit the entire business. By encouraging the staff to use their holidays, you will likely find that the whole workplace becomes more positive and productive. As a side effect of encouraging your staff to take holidays, you may also find that the rate of absenteeism within the business is reduced too. Take on board the above information and keep it in mind when you are drafting your holiday policy.