American workers may feel like they need to work on vacation, but HR departments could fight against this assumption with the right.
Many HR news resources, including this blog, have discussed the importance of vacation time in the modern workforce, especially in the United States. In a recent article for Harvard Business Review, leadership development professionals Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman discussed findings from a recent survey on vacation habits that included more than 2,300 responses.
According to these findings, American workers get an average 10 days of time off, a quarter of that afforded to international leaders Sweden and Brazil. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics from 1996 shows that this has number has increased in 19 years, since the average full-time worker for a small private establishment received 7.6 days of combined sick and vacation leave in that year.
Because of this comparative lack of vacation, companies need to create a balanced approach to holiday compensation that leaves workers feeling comfortable and more productive. John Schwarz, CEO of Visier, described the importance of vacation hours in a recent Fast Company article.
Companies need to create a balanced approach to holiday compensation that leaves workers feeling comfortable and more productive.
"We know that increasing the amount of work generally does not lead to increased productivity," he said. He also referred to the practice of employees working while they are on vacation, saying that too much pressure could have a negative impact overall. "If people feel they are required to work on vacation because the boss is always watching, it can show up in more absence days." Schwarz recommends that HR departments take on the responsibility of enforcing vacation time use.
HR consulting solutions offer businesses a means of learning more about the most appropriate HR system reorganization tactics for them, especially if areas like unused vacation time are a consistent concern.