3 Tips for Setting Time-Off Policies

Paid time-off is one of the most important benefits to many employees. Having a great vacation package can help you stand out from competitors and attract better talent. But as a business owner, you need to get smart about the time-off policies you set.

When you need to pay the salary of an employee for a day they’re not in the office, consider how that may influence your bottom line. Think about times when multiple employees may want to take time away from work, such as the days before or after holidays.

Whether you are concerned about losing money or being understaffed, put some thought into your time-off policies. When creating a vacation package for your business, keep these tips in mind to get you started.

  1. Consider the Needs of the Business

Running a successful and profitable business is important. If you’re unable to stay profitable, it won’t matter what your time-off policy is because you’ll likely need to close your doors.

For small businesses, implement a vacation plan that won’t hurt your company’s bottom line. If you give too many paid vacation days, you may find you’re unable to make ends meet. This also applies if you only have a few employees who are crucial for day-to-day operations.

On the other hand, having a smaller vacation package means top talent may be tempted to take a position somewhere else. If your business needs high-performing employees to stay competitive, a larger time-off policy may be important.

  1. Know the Needs of Your Employees

Time-off policies typically differ from industry to industry, depending on the types of employees, demands of the job and competitor’s plans. Knowing what is expected from you is incredibly important for providing employees with a policy they’re happy with.

Look at the people on your team. If you work with parents or older individuals, they may need to have more sick days that they can use to stay home with a sick child or for appointments. Younger individuals may want the freedom and flexibility that comes with paid time-off days. Think about it this way — if they were your target audience, what would they need to be happy?

You also need to consider your competition. If the majority of your competitors are offering unlimited vacation time to their employees — something that will surely make employees happy — consider it yourself. If talent expects this kind of vacation plan, it may be necessary to put a similar plan in place to stay competitive.

  1. Specify Types of Time-Off

Paid time-off, or PTO, likely isn’t the only type of time-off policy you’re trying to create. In addition to paid time-off, employees are typically provided with a certain amount of unpaid time-off, holidays off and sick days.

Holidays are typically days the office is closed but employees are still compensated as if it was a working day. Paid holidays typically include Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Year’s. However, companies can decide which holidays they would like to celebrate. When considering your time-off policy, consider which paid holidays will be provided.

Outline the difference between a PTO day and a sick day. While some companies count the two as one in the same, others provide employees with a specific number of sick days they can use in a year. In these circumstances, PTOs and sick days are not the same as the vacation days an employee may take. Specify whether employees need to take sick days from their paid time-off days.

Finding the right time-off policy can be difficult. To ensure you’re creating the right plan for you and your team, try out some different strategies. Talk with your team about what they’re looking for, what they need and ask for feedback on the plans you establish.


Author: Anum Yoon

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