Why Your Manager is Your Best Accountability Buddy for Taking PTO

By Josh Reinhard - Apr 13, 2023 1:28:28 PM - 4 MINS READ

Preventing burnout is top of mind for most employees when it’s at an all-time high. And it starts with managers. Unfortunately, managers are often the most direct cause of employee burnout because of their expectations around employees taking PTO. More often than not, managers are guilty of bothering employees while on vacation or sometimes asking them to work or attend meetings. However, managers can also help prevent employee burnout by holding employees accountable for taking their PTO

Create More Productive Employees 

Managers are responsible for keeping their teams on track to achieve their goals. They are responsible for the productivity of their employees. But, when employees have worked for long periods without taking breaks, they are more stressed, less productive, and burnt out. Smart managers know that more vacation helps employees feel more engaged, less burnt out, and more productive. And not to mention positively impact the company’s bottom line. If managers want to keep their employees as productive as possible, they must encourage them to take time off

Reinforce Company Culture 

The first step to ending employee burnout is for managers to set expectations around PTO and enforce the company’s PTO policy in a way that aligns with the overall company culture. Managers and senior leadership have to set an example for their teams. For instance, if your company culture emphasizes work-life balance and well-being, managers should be on the front lines to take PTO and encourage employees to take it. 

Managers need to normalize PTO for their teams, celebrating and encouraging them to take it instead of making employees feel ashamed for asking for it. They can work with their team members individually to monitor how much PTO they’re taking and remind them to take time off if they haven’t received a request from them in a while. Additionally, they can help their employees set goals around unplugging and work-life balance during performance reviews if they want to work towards that.

Make it Easier for Employees to Take PTO

Employees are dissuaded from taking PTO if they feel they have too much on their plates and can’t step away. As a manager, there are actions you can take to help your employees manage their workload so they can go on vacation worry-free:

  • Sync with your team member on the status of their projects. This reassures employees that you have their workload covered and can answer any stakeholder questions. Not to mention, it can give managers peace of mind. 
  • Respect your employees while they’re on PTO. No Slack messages. No emails. No video calls. If you want your employees to come back to work feeling rested and rejuvenated, leave them alone and let them enjoy their vacation. 
  • Help your employees wind down and wrap up their tasks before they go on PTO. The last thing your employees need is to feel like they have a laundry list of tasks before they head out of the office. Help them prioritize and mitigate it as much as possible so they don’t go on vacation feeling completely overwhelmed. 

Give Your Employees Resources for Using Their PTO 

Your employees might not use all their PTO during the year, which is ok! But, you can point them toward some resources they can use to take advantage of the total value of their PTO. A flexible benefits platform like PTO Exchange can help employees unlock the full value of their PTO by allowing them to convert their unused PTO into benefits that matter most to them. For example, employees use PTO Exchange to turn unused PTO into financial wellness benefits, philanthropy, and travel. Request a demo of PTO Exchange today. 

Josh Reinhard

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