SIXTY-NINE PERCENT of employees plan their vacations during work hours. In the six weeks prior to booking, they spend an average of 22.95 hours researching and purchasing on a jaw-dropping 140 travel websites. Then, add in the hundreds of extras like organizing the pet sitter, researching airport transport, checking the weather, buying travel guides, booking restaurants, etc, and the time inches closer to 40 hours of research and planning. That’s a full week of work for one vacation. Obviously, this is a waste of company time and a drain on productivity. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistic, the average hourly wage in the U.S. as of Aug. 2017 registered at $26.39/hr which means that it costs $1,055.60 of work time to plan and book vacations. Note: the higher the salary, the higher the cost. A manager earning a salary of 150k is costing $2,884 per trip…and they might take two or three trips a year!
Worse, what are they getting online? Since these are often last-minute bookings, tourist destinations dump excess inventory - undersold hotels, uninspiring package deals, cheap air tickets wracked with hidden problems (like a 9-hour layover and ridiculous “no carry on, no seat assignments allowed” fares.) Hardworking employees end up overpaying to go to some mediocre spot year after year, and come back to work unfulfilled, bored, disappointed, and in debt.
As a former HR Director myself, another pet peeve of the HR professional and manager are those employees trying to use up vacation days last minute before they expire. This short notice leads to a lack of proper coverage, causing other employees to carry the extra weight, treading water while the employee is absent. Even worse, projects are put on hold and deadlines are missed during this abrupt vacancy.
The disconnect is that the clear majority of managers polled agree that vacation improves health and well-being (82%), boosts morale (82%), and alleviates burnout (81%). Managers also believe in the benefits to the company: 78% say that time-off improves employees’ focus upon return; 70% agree it renews employees’ commitment to their job.
So what’s the solution? A professional, comprehensive travel planner. Souvenir & Far takes care of all of the time-consuming details, saves employees money, organizes something unforgettable by encouraging them to think outside the box, have a big adventure and recharge their batteries. Employees come back to work refreshed, fulfilled, on budget, energized, with new ideas, and awesome stories to tell. Companies avoid distracted workers and win on staff efficiency and motivation.
Just like gym membership or life insurance, your company can offer our service once a year to your team members as an incredibly unique employee benefit. The cost is minimal: you pay the planning flat fee, they pay for the trip.
Last but not least, this is a PR goldmine for your company, too, as you can publicize on social media and your website the unique places your employees visit, their interactions with locals (volunteer work if interested) and the adventures they have. (“Here’s Jane from accounting learning to weave silk in Cambodia!” or “Look at Bill from Tech Support trying on cowboy boots in Austin, Texas!”)
This valuable investment in employee productivity and morale is stand-out HR marketing for attracting new talent, hiring and retaining your best employees.