Most employers believe in providing attractive perks and benefits to employees, to acquire and retain talent. However, some of the most important benefits employees value the most are Paid Time Offs (PTOs), flexi work hours and employee-friendly leave policy for extended maternity leave, planned leave for vacations, sick leaves, personal leaves and so on.
Organisations with government intervention do have employee-friendly leave policies taking into consideration the need for work-life balance. The challenge for HR managers, however remains on how to design an employer-friendly leave policy in place as well. This is seldom thought, as organisations today are more focused on helping employees achieve work-life balance.
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Here are some guidelines to be borne in mind when designing an employee-friendly leave policy, which whilst meeting the needs of the workforce doesn’t compromise on business ethics, goals, commitments, productivity and yes, deadlines.
As we are all aware, clear communication is the key to resolving many problems in the workplace and life as a whole. It is important for HR managers to clearly communicate to employees, the time period when leaves are not allowed for certain demanding job roles. Furthermore, the rules to abide by when applying for a leave, the time period granted off work with permission from the top management should form an integral part of the leave mapping protocols.
During peak periods (seasonal jobs) and urgent deadline oriented jobs, employers should emphasise on the need to apply for leaves much ahead of time, (probably a month-notice in case of planned leaves). Exceptions to the rules can be considered, in case of terminal illness, exigencies on family fronts or other issues that need immediate attention of the employee.
Employees should be made aware on the amount of leaves available annually to permanent employees and contract workers. Any discrepancies or issues to not abide with the leave standard guidelines should be promptly communicated to the HR personnel and appropriate working arrangements can then be decided by the employer.
Attracting and retaining key talent within an organisation is a challenge today and most organisations are required to step up efforts to help employees’ achieve work-life balance, through perks, benefits, PTOs, flexi hours and employee-friendly leave policies.
While employers do understand the need for work-life balance for employees, there are some conditions and rules for employee leave applications, that cannot be compromised to help business sustain the growth momentum in the competitive times.
Leave policies should be designed with sensitive consideration, based on need analysis and those key talent that require longer periods of leave owing to terminal illness, accident or unexpected conditions on the family front, should be allowed some leeway to be able to work from home for instance, or flexi hours to keep them engaged with the company. This will in turn make the employees feel secure, valued and respected.
Planned leaves that include vacations or maternity break periods should be encouraged by the employer, provided there are some other members in the team who are delegated tasks during the period of extended absenteeism of an employee from work.
Also in case of planned leaves, HR managers should ensure that all work-related data is accessible to the employee who temporarily takes over the position. Urgent tasks should be completed and delivered by the primarily responsible employee, before heading for a break period.
HR managers should be known that without great strategies, an employee leave policy is designed to fail. It is important to set the rules right at the onset and communicate the terms and conditions for leaves that can be provided by an employer and availed by one and all. This will help avoid any detrimental consequences to hampered productivity and overall business outcomes.
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