HR Insights

Take it Easy: Your Company’s Vacation Policy 

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April 21, 2016

Let’s face it, even if you love your job, time off is a beautiful—and necessary—thing. People need time to relax, unwind, and recharge. And while it’s long been a tradition to give employees just two weeks’ paid vacation time, that mentality has shifted and there other options to choose from.

Today, many companies have moved from 14 days to 20, 30—even unlimited paid time off. And as crazy as it sounds, it may not be a bad thing for your business. Whatever type of vacation policy you’re implementing, the goal is to find one that works within your unique company culture and ultimately, gives your employees the time off they deserve.

The Good Old-Fashioned Standard or No Standard at All?

According to Entrepreneur, it’s still common for many employers to offer two weeks of vacation to new employees and six paid holidays, usually New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and the day after, and Christmas.

 While it may sound fair at first glance, when you stop and think about it, 16 paid days off out of 365 isn’t that much. And when you incorporate sick time, doctor’s visits, routine life events, and the unexpected emergency, that time can be used up in a snap, leaving employees feeling like they missed the boat on vacation time.

Many companies have resorted to modernizing their vacation policies—the most extreme being unlimited paid vacation time. But before you roll your eyes and laugh off the idea, take this into consideration: according to an article by Fortune, a study by the Creative Group showed that 72 percent of employers didn’t think their employees would take more time off even if they had unlimited days, and 56 percent of employees agreed.

 Additionally, the Muse reports that 75 percent of employees don’t even take all the vacation time they earn, and that’s when given a set number of days. For different reasons, workers often fail to take full advantage of their allowed time off, which can lead to feeling overwhelmed, overworked, and eventually employee burn out. This isn’t good for anyone.

The point is, just because employees have vacation time, doesn’t always mean they take it, and if you’re hiring the right employees, you won’t have to worry about a barren office and missed deadlines—responsible workers know how and when they can take time off. The most important thing is to develop and implement a policy that works for you and your employees, and to make sure it’s communicated clearly to everyone.