The idea of unlimited paid time off may seem like a far-fetched idea to managers — while employees may think it’s the greatest idea ever — one local expert says there are some real benefits to unlimited PTO.
It obviously doesn’t apply to every company across every industry, said Bonnie Scherry, director of corporate human resources for Houston-based G&A Partners, but for those who can make it work, there’s a lot of upside.
“Obviously, the benefits for the employer are recruiting and retention,” said Scherry. “Who wouldn’t want unlimited paid time off?”
Houston’s large influx of Millennials have caused employers to take second looks at the way their companies manage the work-life balance.
So rather than mandating an employee stay until 5 p.m., allowing them to leave early so they can attend their kid’s ballet recital or baseball game will pay dividends when you need it most.
“If you have a happy employee, you’re going to get help the three days after Christmas when it’s all hands on deck,” Scherry told the Houston Business Journal.
But before you start updating your benefits packages to include unlimited PTO, make sure you include some conditions to ensure your office doesn’t become a ghost town.
One condition would be to include some rigorous standards of performance, said Scherry. If your employees have the ability to take time off, give them lofty goals that keep them working.
The other important aspect of unlimited PTO is that it can become more difficult to manage, especially in a small office. If four out of five of your employees decide to play hooky at the same time, productivity will plummet. So, if possible, a policy that requires 24-hour notice and some sort of tracking mechanism that ensures Joann in accounting doesn’t get away with a 51-week vacation can help everyone.
“It’s a meet-in-the-middle solution for employers because they want to be perceived (as having) work-life balance” said Scherry.
This article, written by Joe Martin, originally appeared in the Houston Business Journal.
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