While fewer than 1 percent of employers currently offer unlimited paid time off (PTO), many companies are considering the flexibility and freedom that come with untracked policies. How do you know if adopting an unlimited vacation policy is right for your company? If you want your new policy to last longer than a few days, take the time to ask yourself three important questions.
Defining an unlimited vacation policy might sound backward: Isn’t the point of unlimited vacation time that it’s not defined? However, in order to be successful, the policy does need guidelines. Define the processes for requesting time off, and what is and isn’t allowed. For example, you might deem four-day work weeks an alternate work schedule, not vacation. Alternatively, taking four months off might be considered a leave of absence and not allowed within the policy. Finally, consider nomenclature. The terms “discretionary time off” and “unlimited paid vacation” might mean the same thing at the core, but they have different connotations. Consider what’s right for your team.
Taking time off is vital for employees’ health and productivity, and even for the economy. Yet unlimited PTO providers are finding employees take less time off than they did when their vacation was structured and measured. To counter this problem, Evernote pays employees $1,000 annually to take a vacation lasting five or more days. Consider ways you can be sure employees are taking off time before it becomes a problem.
If trust isn’t at the center of your employee-management relationship, one of two extremes will happen: Employees won’t take any time off, feeling pressure to perform and worrying over the negative backlash of being away from the office, or they’ll abuse the system and take off too much time, letting their performance slip as a result. Either way, these problems are symptoms of a greater issue: lack of trust. Consider whether you encourage a culture of trust before implementing a major policy change.
If you decide to move forward with implementing an unlimited PTO policy, internal communication is key to the program’s launch and long-term success. Make sure you’re thoughtful and intentional with the ways and methods that you communicate about the policy change to keep morale high and maintain meaningful connections between employees and employers.
According to a recent study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an employer benefits package accounts for 30 percent of an employee’s total compensation for the year; communicating the intricacies and components of that package is both incredibly important and mind-numbingly complicated. Every year, while your employees try to get their work done, you interrupt their day to explain this complicated but vital component; odds are, they are tuning out. If you rely on the tools of the past, you won’t get the best employees in the future. Let’s take a look at how you can change the situation.
The benefit statement has always been a vital tool when discussing company benefits, yet these dense, complicated documents filled with legal terms in small print have glazed over the eyes of many an employee in the past, and they are almost impossible to comprehend without a legal degree or 10-years experience in the benefits industry. Very little of the report will be retained; in fact recent studies have shown people can only focus for seven minutes at a time.
The typical American worker is overworked and distracted; in the digital era, employees check their emails and cell phones 150 times a day and work longer despite wanting to work fewer hours. You might think sending an HR rep to discuss benefits will seize your employees’ attention, but you may not get the reaction you seek; even if employees attend the meeting, they’ll probably be thinking about the report that is due, their Facebook status, or one of a dozen other things. These meetings simply waste time, money, and add yet another distraction to your employees’ day.
Your employees are always online; if you want to educate your staff about employee benefits, you need to engage them digitally. By creating a dedicated website for your employees to learn about their benefits, you accommodate their schedule, not the other way around. Additionally, you reach the secondary audience at home who appreciate the benefits you provide to their family. You can post custom-created videos that explain the benefits in plain language and speak to the pride of being a member of your team, all of which makes your employees and their families feel secure and appreciated. Then, when they are prepared to make their choices of benefits, they’ll find the all the links and information they need to guide them through the process, minimizing stress and mistakes.
Creating a site like this is effective, but it can be costly, time consuming and difficult to achieve in-house. Turn to the experts, instead. Projections has decades of experience creating dedicated sites that truly connect with employees. Reach out to Projections by clicking here, and stop letting 30% of your compensation package go in one ear and out the other! Becoming an employer of choice is easy when you have the tools to demonstrate all your Company offers.