How do I Create an Employee Vacation Plan?

Published on June 12, 2016

The hot and muggy air has arrived, the beaches are packed, and if you live in Florida like me, you are getting ready for the daily afternoon rain showers. Some of us may take this opportunity to travel or take a break from the grind. As a business owner, you probably put in far greater hours than a regular employee working a 9-­5 schedule. A short break from the stress and the rush of the work day can put you in a clearer state of mind while providing a period to step back and evaluate your progress. But what about your employees?

As an employer, you do not have to encourage employees to take vacation time off during the summer. In fact, it is not even a legal obligation for employers to offer their employees vacation time! However, statistics have shown that employees who take vacations and have a greater work-­life balance end up happier and more productive (seems like common sense). Work is often performed with more enthusiasm and to a higher standard when the worker is in a better mood. A good practice to follow when encouraging a work-life balance is to be a model for your employees. 

Perhaps the most important thing to do when creating a workplace vacation policy is to work closely with your employees during the planning stage. Often, there are employees who do not even use their vacation time. By discussing and finding out their wants and needs, you can decide whether or not to accumulate excess vacation time, among other things. One solution could be to allow employees to carry over or be compensated for half of their unused vacation at year end but lose the other half if unused. A vacation plan is not a cut and paste system that works perfectly for every firm. It must be custom built around your unique company. By discussing and gathering insight from your team members, you can offer a system better fitted toyou than what is given by the "textbook".

The necessity for communication continues. Offering a very flexible vacation plan where employees have freedom in picking and choosing dates is fine, but ensure that effective time management is stressed. Failure to plan could leave your business short­-handed. It is good practice to encourage employees to plan well ahead and schedule their vacation days in advance. Being proactive rather than reactive provides you with more efficiency.

In summary, if you decide to institute a vacation policy, ensure that it includes theemployee's input from the start, offers full transparency, plans far ahead, and is enforced. As a result, you will enjoy less headaches while allowing your workforce to achieve a better work-­life balance.

Common Sense Business Solutions, Inc. has been working with small to medium sized businesses of all kinds for over 20 years. Business coaching can help you to avoid some serious pitfalls. Don't learn expensive lessons the hard way. Call today to set up coaching for your business.

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