To Vacation or Not? That IS the Challenge.

By Alexandra Kahn and Skyler Zur

What to do when workers won’t take their vacation

While the COVID-19 crisis brought HR leaders many long-term challenges, one of the biggest short-term issues they’re now facing is how to convince employees to take a vacation.

Employees typically use their paid time off to travel, but with travel bans and potential health risks, the typical use of PTO is no longer a viable option; employers have financial skin in the game, as unused PTO is considered an accounting liability. Given that, HR leaders are looking at ways to encourage employees to take their paid time off now rather than waiting until travel becomes more readily available or during the holidays. 

According to a Zenefits study of 3,000 companies recently cited in the Wall Street Journal, requests for vacation in April and May were significantly down compared to the same period last year—63,000, compared to 120,000 in 2019.

LuAnn Heinen, vice president at the Business Group on Health, says leaders need to set the example, even while businesses are still operating remotely.

“Leaders can model by taking their own vacations as well as communicate existing company policies and how they are or are not changing in light of COVID-19 and business needs, continuity and financial liability,” she says.

Creative ways to get your workers to take their PTO during this unusual “non-travel” time.

Originally published on July 9, 2020