Have you ever considered converting your policy regarding sick days and vacation? Accrued time off (otherwise known as PTO-paid time off) can be a tremendous change in mindset for leadership as well as staff.
There is a big difference in the minds of employees between sick days and vacation versus accrued time off. Sick days should be able to be taken at will as a personal day, and not have to be forced to bring in a note from their doctor. While some companies do not even offer personal days, sick and personal days are relatively the same and employees of companies feel they are an entitlement. Vacation days are specifically for paid time away from work, and again, viewed as an entitlement.
Did you know that most people in Europe have between 4 to 6 weeks of vacation time that must be taken in a particular year? Not so in the United States, where policies are much more frugal. Traditional vacation policies in America differ, but the common denominator is “use it or lose it” mentality of corporate business. This thought process is changing, and for the better.
By converting from a multiple layered time away benefit, management can have vacation time scheduled and other “time off” taken when the mood strikes the staff member. This is a two edged sword, unfortunately, but with the proper leadership shepherding the flock toward a responsible state of being, the panic issues of being short staffed can be minimal if non-existent.
Example: A new employee begins to accrue PTO on a ratio of X per month on the job, and the company establishes that no PTO is vested until a point in time (3, 6 or 12 months). Staff with established vesting converts all accrued time to PTO. Vacations are scheduled annually, but if no previous scheduling is performed, the staff member must succumb to the “as needed” use of time on the books. There is no need to qualify sickness, personal days or any other reason to miss work. The management of time is reduced to one line item, and can be monitored automatically.
Human Resources departments will have much more of a “carrot” in their recruiting efforts with a modern day Paid Time Off benefit, and staff will enjoy the “mature” direction management is taking to modernize an archaic method of accounting for time away from the office. An automated system is easy to track, notify and allow for individual monitoring of accrued time.
Individual policies can be created that not only change the motivation of existing staff, but also protect the company from abuse. A professional HR services firm can provide some guidelines.