August 2017 was probably the best time for UK workers to take a holiday. It was a particularly rainy month and commuters were hampered by major upheavals at Waterloo with few or no trains. To cap it all, we’ve just had the last bank holiday of the year and with September upon us, the nation is in ‘back to school’ mode.
Research shows most employees tend to have a job ‘rethink’ when they are away on holiday. While your employees head away from the grey skies and stress of the city, you may be wondering if they ever even want to return to their desks. If you are a manager you might want to read our top tips for welcoming your team home and making them feel appreciated and engaged after their breaks.
1. Know Your Holidays Rules
Our first tip is keeping yourself up to scratch with employee law as with regards to holidays it is a legal requirement and getting it wrong can lead to disgruntled employees.
If your employee goes on holiday and becomes sick they may request you recredit them with their holiday days – and you will need to do so. You can check out the full list on the HSE website here.
2. Promote Work Life Balance In your Workplace
A better work-life balance is one of things most employees crave. Glassdoor, the company which holds a database of company reviews and approval ratings, recently released its chart of UK companies with the Best Work Life Balance and the FCA featured in the top 10. According to one reviewer: “There is a much better work/life balance than in industry – as a former consultant, my hours were 07:00 to 19:00; here, my hours are more like 08:00 to 17:00.” – if you want your company to receive reviews like this, perhaps a rethink on flexibility might be timely.
3. Help employees switch off from email anxiety
With digital communications, there comes a blurring of boundaries and this means we are all guilty of checking emails when we are away – but they can really wait according to Arianna Huffington. The serial entrepreneur has recently launched Thrive app – a holiday e-mail tool which automatically deletes new emails when people are away letting senders know when you’ll be back in the office.
4. Encourage people to stick to their contracted hours
As managers, we should be encouraging people to work within the confines of their contracts. This mean advising them to avoid email while on holiday or out of hours but also, keeping their working week to normal hours to avoid burn out. Companies like JPMorgan are doing this already with great success.
5. Keep the lines of communication open
As your employees are gradually returning to work after their Summer holidays, an analysis of Google search data by Bupa shows the phrases ‘how to deal with stress’ and ‘signs of stress’ are extensively and regularly searched by British employees.
Bupa’s Dr Pablo Vandenabeele has top tips for employers to help reduce their employees’ stress and improve work life balance as they return from their summer holidays: “Communicate with your team – make your employees feel valued and encourage a culture of openness. Managers should have constant open lines of communication with their employees about their wellbeing.”
We’ll be publishing more advice on management and HR over the coming weeks and months so do come back and check the blog for more insights.