Vacation Is Another Good Investment for Employees

November 19, 2013 ( – Perhaps not surprisingly, a recent survey finds taking vacation time has a positive effect on employees.

Ninety percent to 94% of human resource professionals believe improved wellness, morale, performance and productivity come from employees taking paid vacation time, according to the survey, Vacation Benefits and Their Impact on the Workplace, conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Human resource professionals also agree or strongly agree that employees who started taking more vacation experience higher levels of job satisfaction (74%), are more productive (72%), perform better (69%) and experience greater engagement (67%).

“It is important for managers and company leaders to see the value in employees taking a vacation,” says Lisa Orndorff, SHRM’s manager of employee relations and engagement. “They should also encourage their people to use their leave and take a break from the work, even if it’s just a day or two every few months.”

Sixty-one percent of organizations report employees have an average of three or more unused vacation days each year.

“We found that features of employers’ vacation plans and the ability to roll over time off determined whether employees took all their vacation time,” says Evren Esen, manager of SHRM’s Survey Research Center. “Many employees seem to want to reserve vacation time, saving it for the next year, if they are able to roll over time from year to year.”

About three in five organizations (62%) allow employees to roll over vacation days (54% with limited rollover days and 8% unlimited rollover), while more than one-third of organizations (38%) do not allow employees to roll over vacation time from year to year. Among organizations with such “use it or lose it” plans, 36% of employees had three or more unused vacation days, while 73% of employees from organizations with limited rollover plans had three or more unused days.

In addition, the survey results show three-quarters (77%) of organizations that do not offer rollover report most employees (81% to 100%) use all of their vacation days each year, while 31% of organizations that allow rollover say most employees (81% to 100%) use all of their vacation days each year.

The survey was commissioned by and completed in collaboration with the U.S. Travel Association. More information about survey results can be found here.

The Society for Human Resource Management, an association for human resource professionals, is based in Alexandria, Virginia.