Another issue with banked systems
is that they may incentivize employees
to come to work when they’re sick so
they can optimize their vacation options. Ofering generous short-term
disability coverage or a self-insured
program can help reduce the likelihood of this occurring, Robertson says.
FORCED TIME OFF
Research shows that people are more
productive when they take breaks, yet
many employees are reluctant to fully
unplug because they fear doing so will
put them behind. “I believe that employers are ofering more time of, but
I also believe that employees are more
willing to work when they have time of,”
Robertson says. “Technology has made
it easy—some say too easy—to remain
connected while away from the ofce.”
That’s why some leaders are fnding
creative ways to send a strong message
to employees that vacation time should
be just that.
For example, Bart Lorange, CEO and
co-founder of Denver-based software
company FullContact Inc., pays his
325 employees to take a vacation. The
arrangement is similar to that at Moz:
Workers receive $7,500 annually after
one year of employment, provided they
use the funds for a vacation and agree
not to connect to work while they’re of.
“The idea for the policy came from
my own personal experience with going on vacation,” Lorange says. “I’ve
seen people [who] take advantage of
the policy come back recharged and
focused, which makes for very happy,
‘In most cases, 100 percent of PTO is
paid out at separation where sick time
is usually not, so the payoff liability for
employers may be greater than with a
SYLVIA FRANCIS, SHRM-SCP
There are no predetermined
amounts of allowable time of, but each
employee is required to take a minimum of three weeks each year. There
are no accrued hours or carry-over
time from one year to the next.
“With approval, you determine when
you need time away from work,” Lo-
range says. “There are no strings at-
tached to this program.”
At Moz, the only requirement em-
ployees must meet to receive their
$3,000 vacation money is to spend it
on time of away from home, whether
it’s for a solo day trip or a multiweek
family getaway. Workers can apply the
money to trips taken using P TO or for
weekends away, Clements says.
“There is a little admin work—
gathering receipts, submitting a reimbursement request in our accounting
system—but this is a widely used beneft,” she says.
At Autodesk Inc., a San Francisco-based
IT company with 9,000 employees
worldwide, full-time U. S. workers can
take a paid six-week sabbatical every
four years, says Jill Mc Chesney, senior
PR manager for the company. The time
of can be used for travel, quality time
with family and friends, or however else
employees see ft.
“This program is designed to give
employees time away from work [so
they can] return to work not only refreshed but also excited about new
ideas and ready to tackle new challenges,” McChesney says.
So far, nearly every employee has
taken a sabbatical, she says. The perk
is ofered in addition to PTO, which
consists of eight hours of vacation for
each complete calendar month worked.
Although there are no laws requiring
employers to provide floating holidays, some leaders are rethinking the
traditional one-size-fts-all approach
to paid holidays, says David Woolf,
Philadelphia-based partner with the
Labor and Employment Group. It’s
a strategy that acknowledges the increasing diversity of today’s labor
market, he says.
“This depends on the workforce and
is more common where the workforce
is more diverse religiously,” Woolf says.
According to SHRM’s 2017 Employee
Benefts research report, 82 percent of
employers don’t permit any such exchanges and 90 percent observe the traditional holidays by closing their ofces.
Agricultural giant Monsanto ofers
workers one foating holiday annually,
says Sue Allen, North American HR
compliance lead, in addition to 13
other paid holidays. The holiday, which
doesn’t carry over to the next year, can
be used to celebrate Hanukkah, Ramadan, Good Friday, Kwanzaa or any
other day a worker chooses.
Perhaps that’s his or her birthday.
Or maybe it’s just a Tuesday. After all,
for many people, having a day of can
make any day a holiday.
Danielle Braff is a freelance writer
based in Chicago.