Happy employees are productive employees, and there’s nothing quite like traveling to boost the levels of feel-good hormones like serotonin and endorphins in our bodies. Not only will going into the unknown take them away from the screen and prevent digital eye strain, but it will also allow them to get their much-deserved and much-needed rest.
Your employees are your company’s greatest asset, so one of the best ways to show them how much you care for their health is to encourage travel for wellness. It’s a form of self-care, after all!
However, this might get a little tricky for your team members who just can’t get their tasks off of their minds. Luckily for you, there are always ways to motivate them to heed the call for adventure or to just simply relax and breathe. It begins with;
1. Add Travel To Your Benefits Packages
There are general benefits like insurance, healthcare, and retirement that employees almost always receive from their employers. And then there are benefits like wellness vacations that are often excluded.
However, with a little bit of creativity and strategizing, you can add it to your benefits packages. One way to go about this is to tap third-party vendors that can help you with creating and customizing your corporate travel plans. Your HR team wouldn’t even have to lift a finger as these plans typically include everything from paying for the airfare to assisting with visas.
2. Use Rewards & Incentives To Promote Participation
Sure, making travel a perk is great, but unless people are enthusiastic about it, it really won’t mean anything. That’s why you need to offer incentives!
Hold a contest or a competition where the prize is an all-expenses-paid vacation. You can also give everyone gift vouchers just for signing up.
3. The Key Is To Customize
Everyone has a different idea of what their ultimate vacation looks like. After all, no two people have the same desires or interests. Some people seek adrenaline-pumping adventures, while others prefer to relax and explore new places through gastronomic experiences. Furthermore, some people want a short trip while others may desire one that lasts for months.
When you plan for your travel incentives and benefits, a key component that you must always consider is customization. Take into account the different hobbies and interests of your team members while planning activities.
4. Consider Developing More Flexible Vacation Policies
Many companies stick to very strict vacation policies. They will only permit a given number of days or require specific days off, like letting employees have their vacation for one weekend per month. The thing is, your employees will tend to skip out on trips if just the very act of scheduling time off is stressful.
If at all possible, try to be a little more flexible with these policies. Perhaps you can let someone go on their vacation for a few days if they want to travel but can’t take a week off. You can also allow someone to return early if they want to travel but don’t have the vacation time to do so.
5. Provide Flexible Work Arrangements
If you can’t offer more flexible vacation policies, you can instead look into work arrangements such as telecommuting. This will give your remote team members the flexibility they need so they can travel wherever they desire while still staying connected with you.
This idea may not be appealing to all managers. However, when done properly, it promotes productivity and raises work satisfaction.
With telecommuting, your team members can juggle between their work and life. Yes, they’re on vacation, but they can still continue to work. They can still communicate with their team and do their tasks. As a result, flexible work arrangements allow your workers to achieve their desired work-life balance, thus creating a more inclusive workplace.
6. Establish A Culture of Travel
When it’s embedded in your company culture, the excitement of travel will just come naturally. Establish a culture of travel by having a team-building retreat every quarter. You can even create a budget where the company covers travel expenses.
When employees return to the office after a memorable trip, they should feel excited. Just imagine how thrilled they would be to share their experiences and inspire their colleagues to do the same. However, keep in mind that it’s natural to revert to your shell after a vacation. To counter this, why not foster a culture where sharing stories about adventures is encouraged?
Swapping experiences, wisdom, and knowledge about their trips with their colleagues will inspire them to keep traveling and exploring other places.
7. Say No To Vacation Shaming!
In a poll by Skyscanner, just 57% of 500 American employees questioned indicated they used their PTO, and 58% of those who took vacations reported being shamed for taking time off.
Nobody should be embarrassed simply because they took the time to care for their physical and mental health. Nip this issue in the bud by making it clear to your executives, leaders, and employees that your company will not allow this behavior. Speak up in meetings and emails in favor of staff members who take advantage of their paid time off.
8. Encourage Your Employees To Practice Self-Care Through Travel
The world is ours to explore and experience. That’s why there really isn’t anything quite like traveling. It allows us to rest and breathe, re-emerge with a newfound confidence in life, and heal from the aches and pains we have to deal with daily. So let your hard-working employees experience the many benefits of travel by encouraging them to go on a trip once in a while!