Your employees are passionate. They're dedicated. They're hard-working. They do anything they can to help your company, and each other, succeed.

That's awesome.

But that also means they probably don't take all of their vacation time. According to a recent Glassdoor survey, the average employee only takes half of their eligible vacation time. And when they do go on vacation, two-thirds admit they still do some work. Why? One-third are afraid of falling behind on their work while 34 percent feel no one else at their company can do their work while they're gone.  

Of course that's a problem. Your employees need time to recharge. You, yes even you, need time to recharge.

That's reason enough to lead by example and take your vacation time. The fact is,  some employees will never follow your example unless you actively and consistently set that example. In 2017, MarketWatch found that 80 percent of employees admit that they would take more time off if they felt fully supported and encouraged by their boss.

But if that's not enough, here's a practical reason to hand over control to your employees and take time to recharge: you'll discover unexpected pitfalls -- without having to fall in them first.

Think about it. No matter how many backup plans you put in place, things still go wrong. Other things don't necessarily go wrong but, without you, they simply don't work.

Maybe it turns out you're the only person who can reset certain passwords. Maybe you're the only person with certain keys. Or maybe your staff is so accustomed to you making key judgment calls -- on quality, scheduling, pricing, etc. -- that when you're not around, they're lost. They're hesitant. They're unsure. Then they make the wrong decision or, more likely, the only decision they make is to call you.

And that's okay.

In fact, that's more than okay. Taking vacation allows you to find and then plug all sorts of holes in your business. And it allows your employees to shine, to show they can handle bigger roles and greater responsibilities. Great employees love when their bosses go on vacation because they love to take on more authority and responsibility -- and they love to prove they deserve it.

The same thing happens when your employees follow your lead and take their own vacations. You may realize that Mark is the only person who can respond to customer comments on review sites. Or that Marge is the only person who knows how to expedite vendor payments. Or that Kirk is the only person who can make payroll changes - which means Marge has to wait until Kirk comes back to work in order to get paid correctly.

See? Taking vacation is a win-win. Most importantly, you and your employees get the time you need to recharge and refresh. But taking vacation time is also a great way to improve your business in ways you may not have otherwise recognized... until it was a little too late.

Published on: Jul 23, 2018