Traditional paid time off (PTO) is typically separated into either vacation or personal days and sick days. Some employers offer a single bucket for time off from which employees can use the days as they see fit. Other employers offer unlimited PTO.
Spurred in popularity by small start-up companies and noted technology companies, unlimited PTO allows employees to take the days or time they need for personal or vacation time, or sick time. Employers put the onus and responsibility on the employee to take the time away from work that they need in order to be successful and productive, without abusing the benefit.
“In the U.S. 85% of males and 66.5 of females work more than 40-hours per week.”
PTO in and of itself, including how much of it is available for each employee, can make or break a candidate’s decision to accept a job offer, or could potentially lose top-performing employees to organizations with better PTO or flexible work options.
Companies who adopt unlimited PTO policies have found out:
- Employees take roughly the same number of vacation or sick days as they did prior to the unlimited PTO policy being implemented.
- There was less stress when it came to employees who needed to take a vacation or when they could take a vacation.
- Employees were thrilled at the company’s commitment to their personal well-being and mental health through the option of unlimited PTO. Employees finally felt “heard.”
Employers who implemented unlimited PTO saw an increase in productivity of 13% and creativity 33%.
To implement an unlimited PTO policy in your own company, we recommend:
- Understanding what you are actually trying to accomplish with changing the PTO structure, and ensure the name of the new program is a good fit. If your organization is more focused on schedule flexibility, consider naming the program “Flexible PTO” or something else that speaks to the policy or program directly.
- Compose a thoughtful and detailed plan to roll this new program out to employees. Managers should clearly outline expectations for submitting PTO requests, understanding which team members are gone (so there isn’t overlap in having a whole team out at one time) for which days and for how long, and the process for unplanned absences.
- Confirm whether this benefit will be extended to all employees; only exempt employees, or just management. This will make a difference in how employees react to the new benefit. Keep in mind that benefits like this can always be improved or added to, but shutting them down or taking them away from certain employee groups will feel like a deeper cut.
- Know that this a key bargaining chip for enticing top-level talent to your business. This is a perk that is still considered to be a trend, which means that it is not offered everywhere.
- Tie the rollout of unlimited PTO to the mission, vision, values, and annual goals of the organization. Updates to existing or new benefits introduced to the employee base should only improve company culture, rather than pull away from or degrade the culture.
In the end, unlimited PTO builds a stronger company culture, where great managers and employees are able to thrive. Unlimited PTO policies may not be right for every company, but focusing on giving your employee the best chance at success in their job is definitely a good move. Insured Solutions is prepared to help transition your traditional PTO policy into something more flexible or personalized. Contact us today to learn more.
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