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Employees truly deserve paid vacations.  They struggle through stressful jobs most of the year, and productivity goes down if they don’t get a break.  From a corporate perspective, investment in good vacation programs reduces workplace stress absenteeism, health care costs, and accidents.

Many employees, however, come back from vacation with the half-joking remark about having to return to work to rest up.  Far too many people find vacations just as stressful as the jobs they do every day.

Following are fourteen ways company managers can de-stress vacations, increase productivity, improve quality, boost profits, and get the most from the corporate investment.

1.  Develop vacation savings plans so employees will be financially prepared for this big expense

2.  Provide continuous counseling for personal finances, budgeting, and credit issues

3.  Double check for payroll errors to make sure employees are not affected by discrepancies while they are on vacation

4.  Distribute job responsibilities to prevent employees’ returning to overflowing in-boxes

5.  Announce job changes after vacations, not before

6.  Provide in-house workshops on vacation planning

7.  Negotiate corporate discounts with travel agencies

8.  Show employees how to research travel plans on internet

9.  On the last day before vacation, give employees an extra half-day off for last minute preparations.  This strategy brings value to the company through motivation, esprit, and quality control.

10.  Coach employees to get major projects out of the way two weeks before vacations to prevent stressful, sometimes inadequate, last-minute efforts

11.  Ask for destination contact information for purpose of emergency notification and then use the info to send a special note or small gift that will be waiting for them upon arrival.

12.  Demonstrate your interest by scheduling time to visit with employees about their great adventure – before and after vacation

13.  Get employee input on vacation schedules to make sure dates work out with spouse’s schedule

14.  Encourage a more restful week-long vacation instead of a less rewarding one or two day absence

There you have it – fourteen ways to de-stress vacations.  Your company gets its money’s worth out of these vacations when employees are rested and ready to get back to work.

For free 3-session mini-course on controlling workplace stress send an email to:

To add your own special techniques for de-stressing vacations, send a note to:

This Business article was written by Dale Collie on 3/30/2005

Dale Collie – speaker, former Army Ranger, CEO, and teacher at West Point. A “”Fast Company”” innovative leader.
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