Yes, mandatory. A company culture of working ‘til you drop isn’t good for anybody, and it isn’t good for your bottom line either. If you insist that every employee must take at least two weeks of vacation time per year, then everyone will be healthier, happier and more productive.
Better yet, if you are a smaller team, don’t create a vacation policy. Rather have your team use their own discretion for time off. You will see, no one will take advantage of it because they don’t want to ruin it for everyone else, and it will give them the flexibility to take the appropriate time off when they need/want it. At Contactzilla we use CakeHR for booking time off. It’s really helpful.
Stacking up the man-hours doesn’t automatically boost output; several studies show that vacations make employees faster and more accurate at their job when they come back to work. Employees who know their breaks are valued tend to stay motivated and work hard, so get the calendar out and schedule some time off!