We’ve all heard the arguments for taking our full allocation of paid vacation. The mental and physical break from work reduces stress, recharges our batteries and improves our frame of mind. From an employer’s perspective as well, it makes sense to ensure employees take an annual vacation. When employees return after a break, they are more productive, less stressed and less inclined to suffer heart attacks and other stress related ailments.
Clearly vacations are a win/win proposition for employers and employees. But none of the rhetoric about the benefits of taking vacation seems to prevent the American worker from pushing through. Over 40% of employees entitled to paid time off in the U.S do not use all of it. In fact, a staggering 429 million days of PTO were left on the table in 2013. 
Vacations and the Economy
Although we’re seeing economic growth in North America and the job market is better than it has been in a number of years, the growth is slow and inconsistent. Economists say we’ve recovered from the global recession that began late in 2007 and then exploded with the financial crisis of 2008. And yet, things are far from booming. But what do a sluggish recovery and unused vacation time have in common? More than you might think.
According to Oxford Economics, If 429 million days of unused paid time off were taken and employees chose to travel when taking those vacation days, it would generate approximately 580 million more travel days and $67 billion in additional travel spending. They go on to say the total economic impact of this spending, including indirect effects, would be 1.2 million U.S. jobs and $52 billion in additional income earned.
All that economic benefit just because employees use all their vacation time!
Create Vacation Expectation
One of the more interesting elements of Oxford Economics’ research is the reason why most people are leaving some of their paid time off unused. Although both employers and employees recognize the benefits of taking vacation, heavy workload along with management and peer pressure apparently prevent many workers from taking their full allocation of paid time off.
As employers, it’s important to create a cultural norm that supports all employees using their vacation allocations. Management and peers need to embrace a vacation expectation so that no one feels pressured into passing up a much needed break. Strive to structure workloads and teams so that no single employee is so critical to the organization’s function that s/he “can’t be spared.” This will also protect the organization from unexpected absences due to illness or injury (or when someone takes a job with a more vacation-friendly employer!)
Your Last (Vacation) Resort
A friend of mine used to increase his spending when the economy suffered, saying it was his job to “help support struggling businesses and save jobs.” It always seemed like an excuse for conspicuous consumption to me. In retrospect, I may have judged him too harshly. If Oxford Economics’ findings and calculations are correct, we now have one more line of reasoning to draw on when urging employees to take their vacation. If all else fails and they insist on staying chained to their desks, we can now appeal to their sense of nationalism—tell them they have the power to create jobs and grow the economy just by taking a well-earned break!
A lot of interesting HCM research has been published over the past few months. Whenever we come across new research, we tweet about it. If it resonates with us, we reference it in a blog or even dedicate a full article to it if we find the research especially relevant. A couple of things struck me the other day:
Research Process by jtneill, Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
Twitter feeds fly by and few people regularly review historical tweets.
HR practitioners and decision makers are often too busy to find and read the available research.
So, for those of you
Many books have been written about creating a culture of success. But there is very little information circulating about how to merge traditional management theory with the very untraditional (and even virtual) environments we find ourselves working in today.
My free eBook How to Cultivate Success in Real-Time offers a path of convergence between experience-based best practices and the “learn as you go” demands of real-time execution that managers and leaders now face. Here is a special preview of part 4, called 5 Steps to Creating a Real-Time Culture of Success:Step 1: Build on Shared Values
A lackluster corporate culture often develops
Making the right hire is one of the hardest tasks that businesses ask HR to help perform. And while there are a number of strategies that can help you (shameless plug: maybe an applicant tracking system from TribeHR?), still it can feel like the best prospects simply aren’t interested in getting new jobs.
Networking, recruiting agencies, online job portals, and even beautiful robust applicant tracking systems (sorry!) won’t always cut it.
So what if you could just buy them out?
An increasing number of firms arerecruiting kidnapping finding top-notch personnel through a practice known as
2011 was another challenging year for human resource management. With ever-changing laws, policies and regulations, coupled with continued economic difficulties and the ever-present threat of downsizing, the only constant demand for HR managers was "change."
With more of the same expected for 2012, TribeHR has rounded up five of last year’s most useful and insightful peer-reviewed HR papers.1. "Strategic Human Resource Management in Small and Growing Firms: Aligning Valuable Resources."
Hargis, M.B., & Bradley, D.B. (2011). Academy of Strategic Management Journal. Preview.
Michael Hargis at the University of Central Arkansas, and Don Bradley at East Carolina University, take a look
Have you ever considered that sitting at your desk could be as detrimental to your health as smoking? Well, if you spend hours on your rear, start worrying, experts say. Blood clots, cardiovascular disease, weight gain, diabetes—the hazards are real.
The reality TV world may contend that crab fisherman have the deadliest job, but “desk jockey” may not be far behind. People are increasingly becoming more sedentary, and our bad habits are pushing us towards a healthcare epidemic.America in crisis
According to Steve Blair’s report to the American Psychological Association, physical inactivity is the “biggest public health
"A strong workplace brand increases loyalty because employees develop a strong affiliation to the company and its culture, resulting in increased retention and saving thousands of dollars in hiring and training costs.” — Robert M. Blonchek
Now, more than ever, establishing and nurturing a positive workplace brand is critical to recruiting and retaining new employees. But HR managers and recruiters know that a major challenge in the development of a workplace brand is getting buy-in from company leadership, who might want to put priorities elsewhere.
Branding helps companies recruit and retain the very best talent. Just like companies look for stand-out
Yesterday, Workplace Tribes published an interview with HR consultant and Flipskills co-founder Marc Hurwitz.
What we didn’t mention was Marc’s frighteningly long list of academic credentials.
He has a BSc in Theoretical Physics, two Master of Science degrees(Nuclear Physics and Applied Mathematics), an MBA from Wilfred Laurier University(where he is a Finance Lecturer), and a PhD in Neuroscience(his thesis was called “Dynamic Judgments of Spatial Extent: Behavioural, Neural, and Computational Studies”).
Marc Hurwitz and Samantha Hurwitz
Clearly, Marc Hurwitz is a thought leader in a number of different fields. His HR specialty, though, is understanding
A long day feels like a long day no matter where you live. In some countries, though, the working day actually does last for a few more hours.
In July, we looked at overtime laws from around the world. This week, we pulled data from the OECD to find out which country has the longest average working day. We also compared unpaid working time by gender. Guess who spends more time gardening; the answer might surprise you!
Don’t forget to check out all of the HR infographics from TribeHR (maker of awesome HR software).
Do you operate a
Employee scores on performance appraisals can be influenced by a number of different things. The evaluating manager’s mood, the economic climate, the employee’s past performance appraisal scores, and even simple quirks of personality can cause significant rating fluctuations.
Research from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management has found that past appraisals of an evaluating manager’s performance(even when completely made-up) have a dramatic effect on that manager’s view of their staff.
Can you supercharge a performance appraisal with flattery? Flickr/Roadsidepictures
Dr. Gary P. Latham and his colleagues first became interested in the