Why You Should Care About Annual Leave

January 24, 2018

Why You Should Care About Annual Leave? For too many managers, annual leave is an afterthought. At best, it is seen as a minor administrative task; at worst, a disruptive obstacle to getting work done.

This approach is not healthy for a business, leave is important and should have a central place in your management style for many reasons.

Most countries have a legal entitlement to paid holiday, with penalties for non-compliance. In addition to this many companies allow staff to accrue extra days based on length of service, to encourage staff retention. These will form a part of the employee’s contractual entitlement. Getting into trouble for not meeting your legal obligations sounds like the most important reason to care – after all nobody wants to land on the wrong side of an employment lawsuit.

In fact, we think that even though it’s important to follow the rules, there are other, far more important reasons to be enthusiastic about annual leave.

Here are our top four:

1. Annual leave improves productivity.

Many people see staff holidays as damaging the productivity of their team. In fact that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Even the most dedicated employee will benefit from time away from the office, whether they spend it chilling on the beach, playing with the kids or chasing an adrenaline rush.

Mentally and physically refreshed, team members return to the office better able to reach their potential.

2. Holidays can reduce absenteeism.

Taking planned leave can reduce the number of unplanned absences that your team takes. There are two ways that this happens.

Firstly, workers who have had time off on a regular basis generally suffer less sickness. Taking a step away from work improves both physical and mental health, leading to lower levels of sickness.

Secondly, staff who are encouraged to think ahead about their leave are better placed to plan for events such as school holidays or to book personal days. This will reduce the need for those last-minute days off that disrupt performance and productivity.

To read more about this, see our previous article on helping employees maintain a work-life balance.

3. Thinking about annual leave makes it easier to manage.

When we say that you should care about annual leave we mean that you should embrace it, think about it, and talk about it.

Doing this allows you to proactively encourage your team to plan ahead. This, in turn, allows you to plan for their absence, arranging cover or managing workflow to avoid unnecessary disruption.

Using high-quality management tools makes this easier by giving you all the information at your fingertips.

4. Caring about annual leave is caring about your team.

Effective leaders know that teams will function better when they know they are cared about.

By proactively encouraging staff to have a good work-life balance you can show them that you are in their corner. Even better, if you also make it easy for them to check their remaining entitlement and book leave, they will be more willing to use it.

A team whose members are rested, and who knows the boss cares for their welfare, will be more productive and invested in their work.

In short, annual leave management deserves a central place in your approach to HR.

As well as ensuring legal and contractual compliance, being proactive and enthusiastic about leave can boost performance and help your team adjust their work-life balance.

Seizing these benefits gives you a team that is healthier, happier, and more productive.

We’ve shown you some of the reasons we’re passionate about annual leave, if you care about it too we would love to hear your reasons.