4 Signs That Employee Productivity is on the Skids

If human resources are a company’s most valuable resources, as a famous business perspective claims, then employee productivity is the lifeblood of company. Has employee productivity at your company taken a dive? If so, it’s important to recognize the signs and consider whether they have more to do with factors in the work environment than employees’ personal integrity.

With this in mind, let’s look at four common signs that indicate a lack of productivity due to a lack of motivation, and explain how incentive-based travel trips can help address the phenomenon.

  1. Company Meetings are Used to “Catch Up”

Sometimes, company meetings need to be held to apprise employees of unexpected contingencies in a business project, or to brainstorm solutions for a sudden obstacle. But meetings are ideally used to move everyone forward regarding the work in question. This only happens when employees maintain good inter-communication between meetings.

Workers who don’t maintain good communication and only seem “in it for themselves” often express a dissatisfaction with their work or the workplace, such as a low level of compensation that is incongruous with the high level of effort they put forth in order to succeed.

  1. Near Maximum Number of Sick Days Taken

Management doesn’t blink when an employee takes all of his annual vacation days, but when he uses all of his sick days, too — especially in the absence of a doctor’s letter — his work behavior can look lazy and disengaged. However, before managers write him off as a barnacle on the corporate ship, they should consider whether the unproductive behavior is tied to unproductive practices in the workplace, such as offering more criticism than praise.

  1. Heavy Internet Use That Isn’t Work Related

At most companies, it’s acceptable to read an online fashion blog or sports column during lunch hour, but when leisurely web surfing occurs throughout the rest of the day, it takes employees away from their tasks, or at least slows them down. In many cases, though, the root of indiscriminate internet use in the workplace isn’t due to simple laziness. Rather, it’s often tied to a lack of satisfaction with work due to a lackluster employee reward structure.

  1. Vacations Sought at the Busiest Time of Year

After your employees work in your industry for a while, they learn which times of the year are busiest and most stressful for your company. Those are the times when you need your employees most, but if they don’t like the work environment, the dissatisfaction is likely to be magnified during periods of heavy business.

Playing hooky with vacation days is an easy way to de-stress for a few weeks, but when workers return to their jobs, they often find that vacation leave makes work pile up, which creates more dissatisfaction and a desire for more vacation. To help end the vicious cycle, consider whether employees truly have a fair work situation. If they don’t, make it right.

How We Can Help

It’s tempting to write off non-productive employees off as lazy, selfish, entitled, etc. But when employees seem to exhibit these qualities, it can be symptomatic of a larger problem: a lack of meaningful compensation that leads to a lack of morale, which compromises productivity.

At Incentive Travel Solutions, we find that highly enjoyable, incentive-based travel trips can increase employee productivity in two corollary ways: By providing meaningful compensation for great performance, and by motivating employees to qualify for the compensation. To learn about our services, give us a call today at 704) 540-1482, or inquire by using our contact form.


3 Reasons Skipping a Vacation is a Bad Idea

You would think that most people don’t need much encouragement to plan a nice vacation and embark on journey that spirits them away from commonplace surroundings and daily stress. Yet, according to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, “In total, Americans left 658 million vacation days unused [in 2015].”

The article goes on to mention that “222 million [of the 658 million unused vacation days] were forfeited because they couldn’t be rolled over or paid out in any way.” However, having a rollover policy for vacation days instead of a “use it or lose it” policy is no guarantee that more vacation days will be taken. It it isn’t uncommon for workers to retire holding tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid vacation days — and sometimes more.

Reasons to Take a Vacation

There are plenty of need-based reasons that understandably stand in the way of taking a vacation, such as a temporary lack of disposable income or being the sole caregiver for an ill relative. But if a person refrains from vacationing to appease the tycoon-ish ways of his or her employer, that’s not an acceptable reason. The vacation days should be taken; below are three reasons why.

  1. Supports Physical Health

According to a report in The New York Times, based on a 2000 study that observed 12,000 men for nine years who had a high risk for coronary heart disease, “Those who failed to take annual vacations had a 21 percent higher risk of death from all causes and were 32 percent more likely to die of a heart attack.” When we have health issues, we often try to implement healthier habits. Vacationing should be one of those habits.

  1. Supports Mental Health

In our capitalistic, work-driven culture, we like to think of ourselves as workers who can withstand lots of stress to capture the light at the end of the tunnel: a nice paycheck. However, unless the stress is released, it can lead to mental fatigue, anxiety, and a general sense of malaise, regardless of how much money we stuff in our pockets.

According to a 2009 study, Canadian researchers Joudrey and Wallace report that “Active leisure pursuits and taking vacations helped to buffer or ameliorate the job stress among a sample of almost 900 lawyers.” Whether you’re a lawyer who has a big caseload or a legal secretary who could use a second set of hands to multitask, vacation helps you de-stress.

  1. Boosts Job Performance

Can something that takes you away from your job improve your job performance when you return? According to Live in the Now — a web-based organization that promotes a holistic approach to good health — every additional 10 hours of vacation time employees took, their performance ratings from supervisors increased 8 percent. The rejuvenation received from vacations leads to greater productivity and creativity once people return to their job.”

Who We Are

Incentive Travel Solutions is a planner and facilitator of incentive-based travel trips that reward top performers with world class travel destinations and activities that create lasting memories. To give your hardworking employees the break they need, please call us today at (704) 540-1482 to start the planning process, or use our contact form. We look forward to helping you travel in style!


The Interesting Relationship Between Vacation and Productivity

We don’t think of employees who take a well-earned vacation as absconding from their work duties, but we commonly perceive vacations as leisurely affairs that, while they provide a much needed break from work life, don’t exactly encourage us to return to the workplace ready to pick up where we left off, because we desire more vacation, not more work.

However, according to a recent report from Project: Time Off — an organization that researches and promotes the benefits of taking vacation from work — that perception is largely incorrect. From the report: “The majority of HR managers agree (77%) that employees who take most or all of their vacation time are more productive in their jobs than those who do not. Further, HR managers believe that taking [and] using vacation time leads to higher performance (75%) and increased job satisfaction (78%).”

When you consider how we view non-human work resources, the report starts sounds spot on. For example, no one with knowledge of IT hardware would expect a desktop to perform like a charm if it wasn’t shut off for a year, and an experienced online marketing manager wouldn’t expect a regional email campaign to generate leads 24/7. Yet, oddly enough, we think of humans, who tire far easier than hardware and software, as being capable of working busy schedules without a break.

“Use It Or Lose It” Vs. “Rollover”

Most companies offer vacation on one of two models: the use it or lose it model, in which employees must use all of their yearly vacation days or relinquish them at year’s end; or the “rollover” model, in which unused vacation days are transferred from one year to the next.

According to the same report, “(85%) of talent managers at ‘use it or lose it’ organizations agree that employees who take most or all of their vacation time are more productive in their jobs — 16-percentage points higher than HR managers at firms with rollover policies (69%). Fully seven in ten respondents (70%) in organizations with a ‘use it or lose it’ policy believe that employees who take all of their vacation will stay with their jobs longer, while just more than half (55%) of those with rollover policies agree.”

One of the biggest reasons for the discrepancy is that companies with rollover vacation policies don’t feel bad about creating a work culture where employees seldom take vacation, because the employees technically don’t lose the vacation time they don’t take. However, once a person racks up hundreds of vacation days, there’s simply not a practical way to take all of them.

Being paid for saved vacation days — which typically happens when you retire or willfully switch employers — is the realistic reward. Yet, as the Project: Time Off report shows, being paid for unused vacation and actually using vacation are dogs of different colors when it comes to employee motivation, employee performance, and even employee attrition. If there’s a central message for employer’s, it’s this: In terms of productivity, not paying for yearly vacation days could end up far costlier than footing the bill for them.

Who We Are

Incentive Travel Solutions is a planner and facilitator of incentive-based travel trips to prime destinations around the globe. Like standard vacation time, travel trips provide a much needed break for hard working employees, and help create a sense of camaraderie between employees that is taken back to the workplace at trip’s end. To inquire about our services, please call us today at (704) 540-1482, or use our contact form. We look forward to hearing from you.


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