Posts Tagged ‘paid time off’

Unlimited PTO – Is It Right For Your Company?

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

Business executives and HR professionals alike continue to explore ways to improve their organizations’ culture to drive both employee engagement and business results. One such way is by providing employees increased flexibility to improve the balance between their work life and personal life. The following information will provide key insights to help guide you in contemplating the very popular benefit of Unlimited PTO.  As your organization’s HR Business Partner you will want to be driving this conversation, not simply reacting to it.

What You Should Know about Unlimited PTO Plans

  • Unlimited PTO is a very popular topic these days.  But despite all its popularity only approximately 1% of U.S. companies* have an unlimited PTO plan in place.  This is clearly not a trend!
  • This 1% includes the likes of Netflix, GE, and LinkedIn. These are all well managed and results based businesses that compete aggressively for very targeted highly qualified and talented employees. These organizations also offer top tier compensation and benefits to their employees.  In consideration for these rewards, employees typically work very long days each week to achieve the desired results.
  • Culture First: Unlimited PTO works best in organizations’ cultures that values accountability, trust, and teamwork. An unlimited PTO plan, in and of itself, is not the catalyst that will seamlessly transition your organization to this state.  You must first build a culture of trust and accountability that will support the high degree of employee flexibility that an unlimited PTO plan requires – this is critical!  (Talent Management, July/August 2016)
  • Employees that are provided an unlimited PTO benefit typically do not take any more time off than in their prior traditional plan; in some cases, they are actually taking less time.
  • A 2013 time-off study conducted by Oxford Economics revealed that U.S. workers use on average 77% of their annual PTO accounts (or 16.2 of the 21 days allotted annually – leaving nearly 5 days on the table).
  • Although employers are not seeing a noticeable uptick in days off under the unlimited PTO approach, they are noticing that employees are altering how they are taking time off. For example, more employees are taking extended 4-day weekends. This is in part because families tend to be more spread out today and travel is required to attend family events. (Fortune,  March 2016)
  • Employees have a high degree of empowerment under unlimited PTO. However, these same employees also tend to be very diligent about their PTO decisions.  They want to perform high-quality work and they are also keenly aware their organization’s cultural norms (trust, accountability, teamwork etc.) and peer behaviors. These employees tend to make responsible choices that balance out business priorities and personal needs.  In many organizations however a collaborative discussion between employee and boss is required prior to the time off.

Tips for implementing an Effective Unlimited PTO Plan

  • Link your plan to your company’s culture and values. Your values will need to include: accountability, trust, and teamwork. As mentioned above, if your current culture is void these values, you will need to lead your business through a change initiative to lay this critical foundation.
  • Provide guidelines around how time-off requests get approved. Simple guidelines can help employees know when it is appropriate or not to request time off.  This is particularly helpful in the beginning stages of your roll-out.
  • Ensure your employees know that time off is a two-way street: employees receive increased time off flexibility and in return they perform at high a level ensuring their deliverables are completed on time. Further, they ensure that their teammates don’t feel abandoned during the employee’s time away from work.
  • Consider a pilot plan and be clear with your employees of your intent. Think this through thoroughly as rescinding an employee benefit, even a pilot program, can have adverse employee relations repercussions.
  • Consider naming your program something other than “Unlimited PTO.” “Personalized PTO” may be a viable alternative or other names that convey the overarching purpose of responsible employees making good decisions about their work and time off.
  • Drive Trust: shift your attention from the clock to contributions. Focus on your employees’ results and the success of the business – not how much time your employees are taking off.

Unlimited PTO plans are not for every company, in fact, they are not designed for many businesses in their current state. Transitioning to an unlimited PTO plan requires much thought, planning, and hard work to lay the proper foundation (culture) to effectively support this type of flexible plan. Does your current culture drive results through accountability, trust, and teamwork?

Whether an unlimited PTO plan is right for your business or not, this may be the time to review your total rewards plans as well as your culture. CAI’s Advice & Resolution team can help you think through these issues to discuss the best options for your company. Learn more about the advantages of becoming a CAI member.

Rick Washburn leads the Advice & Resolution team at CAI. In his role, he advises executives and HR professionals on strategic and organizational issues, tackling subjects ranging from employee engagement to talent management. With his 25 years experience in HR management, Rick is uniquely poised to advice and lead businesses to successful HR strategies

 

 

*Source: SHRM

Winter Months Bring Seasonal HR Challenges

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

Winter months are just around the corner and with them comes colder weather.  We don’t get as much “white stuff” as our Northern Brethren but when we do things get messy.  Be reminded that employee injuries on employer owned and maintained parking lots may be covered by workers’ compensation and may be OSHA recordable depending upon circumstances relating to the injury.  If injuries occur at a reasonable time (just prior to or just after work) and injuries result in medical treatment, days away from work or restricted activity, both workers’ comp and OSHA record keeping come into play. winterweather

Winter weather poses a particular problem regarding parking lot and sidewalk injuries.  Both should be maintained free of snow and ice to prevent employee injuries.  Potential costly injures to customers, vendors and to the general public would not be covered by workers’ compensation but by an employer’s liability insurance.

Employers also need to be aware of the dangers of overexertion in winter months.  Liberty Mutual Insurance Company conducted a study a few years ago revealing that more than 25% of disabling workplace injuries resulted from overexertion.  Overexertion also poses a major threat to ones’ health and life outside of work, especially in geographical areas that experience extreme snow and ice accumulation like the Northeast this past winter.  Around 100 people die in the US every winter as a result of shoveling snow. For more tips dealing with colder weather go to https://www.ready.gov/winter-weather.

Perhaps a more vexing issue we deal with each year surrounds pay practices during inclement weather.  Exempt employees are paid on a salaried basis. If the company is closed, the exempt employee must be paid for the day(s) to maintain the exemption status. It is the company’s decision as to whether or not exempts are required to take a vacation day.  Keep in mind that if the exempt does not have vacation or PTO to cover the absence, the exempt must be paid.

If the office is open and the exempt decides not to report to work, the day can be charged to vacation or PTO. If in this situation the exempt does not have vacation or PTO, the company is allowed to dock for the day due to personal reasons. This is one of the allowed deductions under the FLSA without destroying the exemption status. Be reminded, however, that if the exempt works any part of the day, the exempt must be paid for the entire day. This often comes in to play when the exempt does not come into work but works a partial day from a laptop or other electronic device.

If you have more questions regarding your Inclement Weather Policy, contact CAI’s Advice & Resolution team today.

3 Reasons Why You Should Offer Your Employees Paid Sick and Personal Time

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

paid sick timeAre you looking for ways to increase employee morale at your organization? Have you been unsuccessful in securing top talent? Do you want to diffuse stressful work situations and decrease turnover?

If your company would reply yes to any of the questions above and you aren’t offering your employees paid time off, you may want to reconsider. Many business owners who aren’t giving their employees paid time off believe that the financial responsibilities are too high in this post-recession economy. However, the benefits from offering paid time off may outweigh the financial responsibility your organization would incur.

Review the three reasons below that show why offering employees paid time off is advantageous to your business:

Attract the Best

High-performing candidates aren’t just looking for any job that’s available. These job seekers are in search of companies that offer several benefits for producing great work. Opportunities for growth, meaningful projects and having their ideas heard will keep a candidate interested in an employer. Offering additional benefits that help them balance their responsibilities outside of work could be a deciding in factor in whether they choose to invest in your company.

Avoid Meltdowns

If you’re not paying employees when they take time off, they may not take time off. And if that’s the case, you should be concerned. Employees may work through illness and personal struggles to ensure their paychecks aren’t short because they don’t have other options. Doing this once in a while may be manageable, but in the long run, your employees will burn out. Several side effects can occur once that happens—increase in sickness, higher levels of stress, irritability, missing deadlines, mediocre work, etc. Your employees may even decide to leave to find an employer that does offer paid time off.

Get Quality Work

Giving your employees a set amount of paid sick and personal time will not only benefit them, but your organization will see the rewards as well. Allowing employees to fully recover from a cold or a rough personal patch will prove invaluable. Having time to rest, forget about work and not worry about money on their days off will help employees save energy for their return to work. Time off will assist them in staying focused to complete important projects, interacting positively with their coworkers and customers, and offering your team fresh ideas.

For additional benefits of employee time off, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7736.

Photo Source: Brian Reid Furniture