Make Sure Your Team Is Using Their Vacation Time

Chances are your team has been feeling exhausted for a while now. Yet, because of increased work demands and the risk of losing their jobs, few employees feel comfortable taking vacation time. As a manager, it’s important that you encourage your team to take time off.


Nephews Kyle and Nathan #ProudAuntie
  1. Provide clarity about your organization’s time-off policy, as well as any additional company, government, or public health guidelines or restrictions so employees know what’s in and out of bounds.
  2. Talk with your team about what “vacations” mean right now. Their summer travel plans may have been cancelled, but that doesn’t mean they can’t take time off to be with family, take care of others, or take care of themselves.
  3. Be a role model and take your own vacation time, fully disconnecting. If it’s not feasible for people to take a week or two off, suggest shorter, more frequent breaks. Some time off is better than none. 
  4. Build it into your performance reviews. Make it an expectation that employees take their vacation every year. Include yourself in reviewing that principle; no business needs a vacation-martyr. (This is a new tip that Wendy’s been preaching lately.)


This tip is adapted from the HBR Management Tip of the Day June 26, 2020, and “Managers, Encourage Your Team to Take Time Off,” by Sabina Nawaz