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7 steps to a better PTO policy

7/30/2021

7 steps to a better PTO policy

Being able to take time off as needed is important for any employee when it comes to achieving an acceptable work-life balance, avoiding burnout and generally being enticed to stay with your company. With that in mind, you may need to take a look at your PTO policy and determine whether it can be improved to boost your organization's standing in the minds of its workers.

The following tips could help you make your PTO offerings that much more engaging for current and future employees:

1) Encourage people to take plenty of time off

First and foremost, you should strive for a PTO policy that people are actually going to take advantage of, according to Zenefits. Allowing only a handful of sick days, vacation time and so on will mean that people feel like they're being squeezed and may not perform their best even when they are at work. More time off generally means less burnout.

2) Make it flexible

If you pigeon-hole time off for specific purposes, employees may not feel they have as much flexibility as they want, Zenefits advised. Instead of demanding that employees put in for vacation days weeks in advance, only have a certain number of sick days, etc., it may be better to allow people to take days off at any time, for any reason.

3) Give room for some rollover

The fact is that some employees are not going to use all their days off in a given year, and many will dislike the "use it or lose it" standard some companies set for PTO, Zenefits further noted. Instead, allow employees to carry over as much or as little time off as they have left at the end of the year, and continue accruing it thereafter.

4) Make it easier to understand

Companies often set a number of complicated, confusing standards for how, when and why employees must take time off, report their plans and so on, according to Business.com. The more you can do to simplify your rules, the better off all involved will be.

5) Allow workers to earn even more

A great way to incentivize workers to show up every day and put in their best effort is to reward high-performing employees with more time off, Business.com said. An extra day or two of PTO for perfect attendance over the course of a quarter, or for hitting project goals on time and under budget, can do wonders.

6) Institute floating holidays

There are likely a number of holidays you observe throughout the work year, but some employees may benefit from being able to take that extra day off at some other time, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. If, for instance, someone prefers to work on the Fourth of July so they can take another day off later in the month, that shouldn't be a problem.

7) Don't feel like you have to highly categorize

An extremely common issue for employees is that they may have 15 vacation days, five sick days, and five family leave days — but need to use more of one than the others, the SHRM added. As such, you might just want to create a catch-all system where a day off can be used for anything.