The post-holiday dropout trend and how employers can turn it around

Labor Day is just around the corner. Many of the workers who take time off will not want to return to their jobs, and some will not. Research shows that taking a well-deserved break can significantly increase the health, happiness and productivity of employees. It shows that 86% of full-time workers agreed that taking more vacation time would improve their mental health, and 80% agreed that they always feel refreshed at work after taking a vacation. But sometimes workers can be so refreshed that they don’t want to go back to their jobs, according to a new study, especially those who take vacations.

A Visier survey polled 1,000 full-time US employees about their company’s time off policy, what they use their time off for, and whether time off affects overall satisfaction or retention. The results showed that 44% of respondents thought about giving up while on vacation, and those who thought about it the most worked during their time away. Of those who thought about quitting while on vacation, 44% followed through, which means that 20% of all respondents quit after returning from vacation.

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • Most employees (89%) feel refreshed after taking paid time off (PTO), but that renewed energy doesn’t necessarily translate into a willingness to return to work with 43% saying they dread returning to work after time off theirs.
  • Employees don’t wait long after returning from vacation to begin their search for a new job. It takes less than three months for 63% of respondents to quit their job after thinking about it on vacation, signaling that workers are starting to look for new roles soon after returning from vacation.
  • Employees who work during holidays experience higher quit thoughts and turnover rates than those who completely disengage from work during PTO. For example, 71% of respondents who considered quitting while on vacation and stayed “very attached” to work during the vacation continued with their plans to quit after they returned to work.

During breakfast on a business trip to New York City, I chatted with a young executive from Chicago who had come to the Big Apple for a long weekend break. I asked him why he hadn’t planned to stay longer. “I wish I could, but my boss frowns on us being out of the office for more than a few days,” she said. “I didn’t take any vacations until I discovered that short trips and long weekends work best. I don’t want management to think I’m lazy. Lazy feet don’t eat.”

A 2021 study found that 62% of Americans, like the young executive, were afraid to take time off because they were worried that corporate dignitaries would judge them or label them as lazy, that they might to pass for promotion or that someone might be interested in their job. Why would anyone want to go back to a job that requires them to be “always on” and that limits their vacation days?

How can employers take back resignations after vacations?

New research found that more than four million American workers have quit their jobs each month so far this year, and this record-breaking trend isn’t slowing down anytime soon. According to McKinsey and Company’s survey of 13,000 people across the globe, including 6,294 Americans, about 40% of workers are considering leaving their current job in the next three to six months. While resignation rates show no sign of slowing, companies are scrambling to fill roles even in the midst of a looming recession. Changes to vacation and time off policies may be necessary if companies want to retain top talent.

Job seekers in 2022 are looking for employers who demonstrate caring attitudes and prioritize mental health and decency. With so many vacancies in the labor market, employers would need to devise ways to limit the possibility of a layoff after the holidays. They can support employees at risk of leaving after vacations by identifying the barriers they face that cause them to leave their positions after a vacation.

The Visier report advised companies to pay attention to the most at-risk demographics, such as millennials and those with dependents. Tactics such as tenure interviews or even simply checking in on managers after they return from vacation can limit the likelihood that these groups will leave their jobs in the coming months. Since working on vacations appears to be a critical factor in smoking cessation rates, those who want to support increased retention may want to create policies that insist workers take vacations and prevent employees from working on vacations, he concluded. the study.

Vacations and layoffs are essential to bring balance to hard work. For those who don’t want to come back after the break, here are some tips to create a smooth transition to work, renewed and refreshed:

• Soften your exits and re-entries to work. Don’t work until you leave and get back to work as soon as you get off the plane. Schedule an extra day off before you leave and another when you return to ease back into work.

• Have a plan. When you’re away, limit your connection to the office and don’t check your electronics more than once or twice a day.

• Choose a person with points. In your absence, have someone you trust manage day-to-day tasks and make sure your colleagues know you’ll be away. In your voicemail and out-of-office e-mails, designate a single person to contact for matters you consider important.

• Take a deep breath. Meditation and rhythmic breathing stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system, which works to balance surges of adrenaline and cortisol from work stress. When your lungs are full of air, your body can’t produce adrenaline, so it’s your body’s way of making you relax.

• Balancing activities. Alternate your time between being active and resting. A run on the beach and ten minutes of meditation give you two different kinds of biochemical boosts.

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