Sniff, sniff, cough, cough! How many folks are actually sick … and how many are trying to avoid losing their accrued time?
Oh the irony! Just when Finance needs every available body, many employees are trying hard to make sure they use — not lose — the vacation and sick time they earned throughout year.
Here’s how to keep from getting crunched in your department:
Looking back: Make sure your policy is in compliance. First of all, some 30 states prohibit employers from even adopting a use-it-or-lose it policy for vacation days; 15 have a similar prohibition on such policies for sick days. That could make this whole issue a moot point — if people aren’t worried their hard-earned time will be taken from them, they’ll have no need to burn it up. But if your state does allow for such a stance, be sure the policy is clearly written and clearly communicated, so there are no unpleasant surprises for staffers or your organization.
Managing now: Minimize the impact. While you can’t officially endorse people burning up their time, you might put it out there that any advanced notice people can give would be greatly appreciated. That will help you shift responsibilities around so you’re not caught short. Cross-training, too, can help smooth the bumps when you retrieve that voice mail saying that Maggie isn’t going to make it into work that day.
Looking ahead: Think about a switch to a paid time off bank. There’s a longer-term strategy that can minimize this strain on companies of all sizes. Think about making the switch to a paid time off (PTO) bank. Companies find it not only saves on administrative hassles and expense, but some can actually offer fewer paid days off when all days are lumped in a pool. There’s also proof this tool slashes the number of last-minute call-outs, which really take a financial toll.