Stress the Importance of PTO to Your Employees

John Krautzel
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Everyone at the office needs a vacation at some point. That's where paid time off, or PTO, comes into play. Americans don't get as much time off as workers in other developed parts of the world, and multiple statistics show that America's results-driven labor force doesn't use PTO as much as they should. Discover how to stress the importance of PTO to your co-workers to create a happier office environment.

Outline the Benefits

The first step is to let your staff know exactly what paid time off benefits your company gives to employees. Does your firm offer unlimited vacation time or dole out hours based on the part- or full-time status? If so, everyone in the office should know this information.

Your team must also understand the different types of paid time off your company offers. Common types of leave include sick leave, bereavement leave and family leave. Also, outline what happens to unused vacation time. Does it accumulate over the years, or can workers receive compensation if they don't use their vacation time within a certain time period?

As many as 50 percent of American workers cite leave time as a very important benefit. Stress the importance of PTO to your staff as a way to show them you care about their well-being. Workers who know their employers have their back are generally happier at work, and this leads to better engagement and increased productivity.

Remove Any Fears

Once people know how much paid time off they can take, remove the stigma and fear that's sometimes associated with taking a vacation. More than half of all workers in the United States don't utilize this benefit to its fullest extent for fear of repercussions, such as not getting a promotion, being fired or feeling overwhelmed with too much work when they return from break. Plan for an employee's upcoming vacation by delegating that person's duties to others on the team. Let the person know that if there are any emergencies that come up at the office, their teammates can handle them.

Benefits of Cross-Training

It may be difficult to manage certain aspects of office work when someone takes paid time off for two weeks. That's why cross-training is essential. Train employees in other areas so they'll be able to take over a portion of someone's responsibilities whenever necessary. Also, try to schedule vacations so that only one key staffer at a time is away from work. You can't have half of your team out of the office for two weeks, because the rest of your staff will likely become overwhelmed.

Understand Why PTO Works

PTO is good for business. Vacation time leads to happier employees, and happier employees are more efficient and work more productively.

Paid time off is important for employees and for your bottom line. With a straightforward policy, planning and encouragement, offering PTO becomes a way to retain top talent who truly love working for your organization.

Photo courtesy of kancp26 at


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