In recent decades, employee vacation scheduling trends have been changing. Recent reports show employees are using significantly less of their earned paid time off (PTO) than previously. The numbers are staggering: nearly half (46%) of Americans report not taking all of their allotted PTO in 2023, with the majority citing they simply don’t feel the need to take any more time.
This trend is concerning for several reasons. It is well documented that rested, refreshed employees are more focused and productive. Employees that are overworked can often be more irritable and impatient, creating a snowball effect that can sabotage an entire team’s ability to collaborate effectively. Not to mention the negative health risks associated with reduced vacation usage, such as increased chance of coronary heart disease and heart attack.
It’s clear that this complex issue is critical to address. This blog will outline the three best strategies for improving employee vacation scheduling:
In any type of change management, leading by doing/showing always wins out over leading by instructing. If business leaders prioritize taking their own vacations, employees are significantly more likely to follow their example. That’s why it’s important to create a culture where vacations are not only accepted and encouraged but celebrated! Expressing genuine excitement for a co-worker's upcoming or recent vacation helps to legitimize their importance. Employees want to work for an organization that fosters the type of culture that values wellness beyond only productivity and the bottom line.
Planning & Communication
Having clear, well-documented and accessible vacation policies is critical. Employees may not have a clear line of sight into carryover rules or other nuances within your organization’s vacation guidelines. The benefits of using PTO should be consistently communicated, with a particular emphasis early in the year. It has been proven that when employees plan ahead, it is significantly more likely that they will actually use the time and make the most of it. Further, additional vacation planning has been proven to make vacations more relaxing and refreshing. Planning ahead and communicating vacation timing to customers and co-workers in advance also removes much of the anxiety of being away.
Remove Complexities and Barriers
Clarity into the “how” to schedule PTO is a vital component to maximizing vacation usage. If the vacation request process is not intuitive, adoption will suffer. This includes transparency into the workflow approval process and sharing of information within and among departments to ensure coverage.
Potential complexities and barriers are compounded in companies with higher headcounts and/or additional logistical factors required to administer vacation in a transparent and equitable manner.
What Should Employee Vacation Software Include:
Intelligently digitizing the vacation booking process provides employees:
Visibility into the likelihood of request(s) being approved
The ability to make informed requests with a higher likelihood of approval
More of the vacation days that they actually want
In addition to providing an operationalized system to facilitate vacation hour liability reduction, a few of the benefits to the organization include:
Immense reduction in processing time
Automatic recommendations on correct approvals based on CBA/quota
Increased transparency into the process and a reduction in employee grievances
How Andgo Helps
Vacation scheduling processes, particularly complex ones in large organizations, are tedious and highly disruptive. But with Andgo, employees are able to make informed requests with a high likelihood of approval; reducing manual processes and maximizing vacation usage.
Andgo facilitates the entire vacation process online from end to end with highly configurable round-based vacation bidding that is easy to set up for non-technical users. Andgo automatically accounts for organizational rules/quotas in each round, with real-time insight into the likelihood of their vacation requests being approved before submitting.
Once requests are submitted into the system, Andgo presents intelligent recommendations to assist managers with vacation request approvals and provides the scheduling team with a prioritized dashboard for seamless processing. Approved vacation time can be automatically integrated with the customer’s existing vacation scheduling system to ensure the most up-to-date changes are reflected.