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October 28, 2021

Encouraging Employees To Use PTO & Take Time To Recharge

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Get guidance on how to encourage employees to take time off and realize that mental rest days are just as important as their workload.

Redefine ‘Vacation’

It’s time to provide your workforce with an updated understanding of ‘vacation’ time as it relates to your company policy and utilizing PTO. Just as much as ‘vacation’ time applies in the traditional sense of the term (family holidays, life milestones, and the overall large, planned out event), it equally applies to mental health days, ½ days, long weekends, and simply needing a break to relax or carry out a home project.

As long as time sensitive obligations are met, managers are informed, and the cadence of hand-off was handled, PTO should work in tandem with your company culture. Employees want their professional career to seamlessly and effortlessly fit within their own personal goals and lifestyle. Being a company that values mental health days and flexible PTO, especially when highlighting TaskHuman as a well-being tool is the exact mentality you want your employees to be in when it comes to utilizing time off and taking the time to recharge as needed.

Lead By Example

The best way to start a pattern is to lead by example, let the behavior be known, and allow the rest of the team to follow your lead. Set healthy boundaries by not only taking your own PTO in all different variations (mid week rest day, long weekend, etc…) but by making sure to announce when you’re taking time off, why you’re taking the time and what you plan to do to unplug.

Limit Rollover

We’ve all been there. Our built up PTO hours end up collecting dust as we, time after time, work through burnout, breakdowns, and stress. Having a non-rollover PTO policy is an easy way to encourage employees to take advantage of their time available hours before they’re gone  — aka the ‘use it or lose it’ mentality.

This could be a great opportunity when making employees aware of this policy change, to explain the reasoning behind this change in the first place. Talk through employee wellbeing, removing the ‘taboo’ from taking a rest day, and use TaskHuman to remind your team of their free, unlimited well-being resource available for them 24/7.

Want to send an email to your team? Reach out to your Customer Service Manager and we’ll get our marketing team looped in. Let’s work together and create a nice touchpoint for you to send out to your workforce on their PTO usage and personal and professional well-being goals.

Employee using PTO & to take time to recharge

Spell It Out

Make sure written company resources have proper instructions and explanations (ie: onboarding packets, employee handbook, etc.). This is a great place to reiterate your company’s position on employee wellness, as it relates to your PTO policy and encouragement to take advantage of available time.

Have TaskHuman as a ready resource alongside these policies to further drive your point home, make employees aware of their free, unlimited well-being resource, and spark inspiration on how they can/should implement wellness throughout their personal and professional routines.

End Vacation Shame

Employees today are less inclined to step away from their computers between their 9-5 because they don’t want it to negatively affect how their team views their work ethic. The same goes for PTO. This toxic narrative surrounding breaks, days off, and taking time for yourself needs to change.

A survey from travel company Skyscanner, a travel company, conducted a survey on employee behavior, finding out that only 57% of 500 interviewed workers use their PTO and 58% of those who go on holiday experience vacation shaming.

Ways to end vacation shaming: 

  • Encourage managers to check in with their team, reminding employees to take breaks
  • Send emails around upcoming PTO deadlines (before holiday season, before summer, etc) to encourage PTO submissions
  • Support and show positive reassurance for those expressing and submission time-off requests
  • Send quarterly reminders around employee appreciation and wellbeing, encouraging them to prevent burnout, focus on their own mental and physical well-being, and to take some time off, whether it be long weekends, ½ days, a week long vacation, it’s all equally important.

NEW – Travel planning assistance for all employees:

  • Employees traveling throughout their PTO have stress buildup from not only vacation shame, but by the travel planning process in its entirety. Especially in such an uncertain time with quarantine mandates and travel restrictions, planning vacations now have  an added level of pressure these days.
  • Thankfully, TaskHuman has the resource your employees need. We’re thrilled to have just launched Travel Planning to the TaskHuman app.  TaskHuman specialists are there for ALL your employees travel needs, from getting their questions answers to planning their entire trip.
  • A few spotlight features within this new topic include:
    • Vacation Planning
    • Cooking/Food Vacation Planning
    • COVID-Travel Planning
    • Honeymoon / Destination Weddings
    • Multi-Generational Travel

Manager Check-Ins 

HR, alongside management staff, should discuss each manager’s responsibility to check in on team members’ workload and used PTO hours. Managers should talk 1:1 with team members in regards to their well-being, how/when they’ll be using their PTO, and the importance of taking much needed mental rest days.

Managers should talk through available resources such as TaskHuman to assist in making sure they feel supported in prioritizing themselves.

Employee-wellness topics & resources to share with your team: 


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