Time to Hit the Town: How to Set up a Vacation Policy?

March 22, 20176:02 pm324 views

Who does not like the idea of having a vacation? After meeting tight deadlines and strenuous schedule on an everyday mundane work life, taking some time off from work, seems like a heavenly escape. Be it sunbathing under the coconut tree, hiking in the mountains, or simply spending time at home with your loved ones, everyone will agree that taking some days off from work is a great way to maintain sanity.

As a business leader, designing a vacation policy is critical to keep employees happy and motivated, while not letting work and business performance to suffer during their time away.

Every employer will undoubtedly agree on the importance of defining a clear vacation policy; however figuring out the right kind of policy that meets employees needs and organisations interest is not an easy task to accomplish.

To begin with, you will need to reassess your current paid time off (PTO) policy and ask yourself, do you really need to establish another vacation policy? What kind of arrangement suits the company’s best interests in the current economic condition? Should you provide particular amount of days, where employees can be absent from work? Do these off-days accrue over time? Or do they roll over? Answering these questions can be very confusing, since you have to consider everything before setting up a vacation policy.

See: Millennials and Boomers Favour More Vacation, Gen X Wants Richer Retirement Benefits

Here are several tips to help you design a vacation policy that works:

  1.    Define the eligibility

First of all, you have to decide who is eligible for vacation time. Each company might have different policy defining the eligibility criteria and determining employees who can be eligible to take advantage of a vacation policy.

Some companies provide PTO for both fulltime and part time employees, while others only offer this privilege for permanent employees and not those in probation or contract. This eligibility can be clearly defined to meet the kind of workplace culture you wish to create.

  1.    Figure out the amount of time

After deciding who is eligible to avail certain number of days off from work, now you have to decide on the amount of time your business can afford talented performing employees to take break from work. To arrive at the right numbers, you will need to conduct a thorough research on the average vacation days in the industry. Many companies are willing to go above average to demonstrate that they care about employee well-being.

Based on Center for Economic and Policy Research survey, workers in Austria and Portugal get the highest numbers of PTO, with total 38 and 35 days of paid leave. Meanwhile, Japan and the U.S are on the bottom among countries surveyed, as Japan workers only enjoy 10 days of paid leave and U.S workers even get zero paid vacation days.

  1.    Regulate ‘how’ and ‘when’

To make sure that your business functions properly without disruption or slowdown in activities, even when your top performers are taking their time off, it is important for you to regulate how and when such vacation policy can be agreed upon.

You have to sketch out a plan on how your employees can accrue or earn their time off. You might want to set certain limitations on the time your employees can take vacation. Build a system, where they can provide advance notice about their absence. Be consistent with no favoritism observed when offering vacation policy consideration to certain employees only, this will avoid misunderstanding and conflicts between employees in an organisation.

Regardless of your company’s size and industry of operations, setting up vacation policy is a wise act to help ensure your employees’ work-life balance. A well-defined vacation policy when implemented not just helps your workforce achieve better well-being, but also helps improve employee performance, productivity, while creating a win-win situation for both employers and employees.

If you intend to create a comprehensive benefit package for all your employees, it is important to formulate a vacation policy that will help your organisation function smoothly.

Read also: Reasons Why It’s Time to Take a Vacation, or At Least A Nap