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Managing Paid Time Off During the Busy Season

Time away from work can help employees keep a healthy work-life balance, improve engagement and provide a better quality of life overall.

Paid time off (PTO) allows employees the freedom to decide how to use their personal time off, typically offering more generous time off with pay than traditional vacation, sick and personal time packages. According to SHRM’s 2017 Employee Benefits research report, almost a third of companies increased their overall benefits – time off and health insurance included.

With the holiday season in sight, employers are balancing year-end mayhem with employees’ requests for time off. During an already busy time of year, this can seem like a challenge. Check out these 4 recommendations to prepare for PTO requests during the holiday season:

  1. Reference Your Time off Policies and Guidelines

    Most employers have a set paid time off policy they can reference when reviewing PTO requests. Making this policy easily available for employees to reference is a useful way to decrease the number of requests that are against company policy and remain consistent in your company’s approval methodology. By regularly sharing the policy and guidelines, you’ll also eliminate obstacles to employees submitting in a timely fashion and make the overall approval process easier.

  2. Communicate Deadline for Requests

    Reminding employees of the policy and guidelines can be a helpful way of encouraging employees to take a look at their calendars and communicate the dates they know they plan to take off. Not all employees celebrate the same holidays, so communicating your deadlines early and often will help you gage a realistic schedule of your team’s capacity and availability. The more notice, the better a manager or employer can plan for any gaps in coverage or assess fairly how the time off will be granted. The holiday season is a popular time to take a break, but being aware of your team’s travel schedules will provide a realistic vantage point of how to disperse projects and deadlines.

  3. Stay Organized

    And we don’t just mean PTO requests. Of course, it’s important to know when you’ll be working with a leaner team, but this applies to your workflow as well. If you have an awareness of the projects coming to fruition before and after the holiday season, frontloading some of the work can help take the stress out of the holiday season – not only creating an advantage for you and your team but benefitting your company as well.

  4. Forced Time Off

    The research shows that employees are more productive and effective when they take time off. And only 23% of Americans take their allotted amount of available PTO. The holiday season has become a popular time to take a break and serves as a time to gather with loved ones and recharge. Running a lean team or designating an “on call” plan can provide employees with a much-needed break during a trying time of year.

    Keep in mind that although many employees choose to take time off around the holiday season, depending on your company’s policy, many of them may be using their days off before they expire. Creating a plan to encourage taking time off year round can decrease the influx of PTO requests during year-end.

OneDigital combines HR Consulting expertise, technology and compliance confidence to help track, manage and administer leave of absence. To learn more about how we assist clients with leave of absence and provide affordable peace of mind please contact your OneDigital | HR Consultant.