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Take a vacation!

A survey by Harris Interactive found Americans left as many as nine vacation days unused in 2012. In this line of work, that is not a statistic we like to see, as it negatively affects our business. We want to encourage people to take off! But is that reflected in how we treat our staff? Are they taking the necessary time to renew themselves? I was reminded of this recently when an employee asked if we could change our vacation policy to allow staffers to roll over their days or be compensated for unused time within the year. I didn’t have to think twice; the answer was no. Take a vacation!

We consistently train our staff on how to care for guests, but telling and showing are two different things. We need our staff to experience the perks of taking a break. First off, it reminds them of the message we’re trying to push — holidays are fun! Secondly, it provides a necessary recharge so they can be in top form on the job.

Research shows that “strategic renewal,” which includes taking vacation time, is not only beneficial for one’s health but also boosts job performance. Time off allows workers to get more rest, in turn gaining more energy to be productive in the workplace. How can we promote a relaxing, nurturing environment for vacationers if our staff doesn’t take the time to take care of themselves? We need them to experience what it’s like to be pampered and waited on so they come back refreshed and ready to take better care of our guests. It would be hypocritical of us as an industry to spend millions of dollars selling the consumer on the benefits of leisure time if we don’t think our staff members deserve it.

The tables were turned on me, however, when one of our spa directors asked when I last had a spa treatment. Based on my delayed reaction, she scolded me for not walking the walk, and she’s right.

Have you taken your vacation?

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