When it’s used correctly, paid time off (PTO) is the type of benefit that prevents staffers from burning out. Unfortunately, PTO abuse is an all-too-common occurrence for many employers.
And that can be costly.
Nearly $4K per worker
In fact, according to a white paper by the workforce solution firm Circadian Technologies, unplanned absenteeism can cost firms an estimated $3,600 annually for each hourly employee and up to $2,650 per year for every salaried staffer.
These are the costs associated with things like payroll issues, as well as lost revenue from workers not being present.
And it doesn’t even account for things like low employee morale and resentment from staffers who have to take on more work because of the absent employees.
Critical steps to take
Employers can prevent PTO abuse and unnecessary absenteeism by taking a few key steps.
Here are three proven ways to stop PTO abuse from taking place:
1. Make sure your PTO policy is as effective as it should be. Like many things, employers’ best defense against PTO abuse is a clearly worded policy that tells employees what is and isn’t OK. If it’s been awhile since you reviewed your policy, you may want to do that in the near future.
Also, it’s a good idea to have the policy displayed in a high traffic area – i.e., the employee breakroom – so workers are constantly reminded about it.
2. Discipline offenders consistently. A strong PTO policy is all well and good, but it won’t help if employees know they can get away with not following it.
To avoid this, make sure you’re prepared to enforce the disciplinary measures listed in the PTO policy.
Also, the policy should state that discipline up to and including termination of employment can occur when employees fail to abide by the policy.
3. Give all managers the ability to enforce your policy. Employees will often go to their direct supervisors for time-off requests. So all managers should have the power to take action if they notice anything is a bit off.
In addition to these things, you may also want to consider rewarding the staffers who never give you any attendance problems.
Example: Any employees with less than X-unscheduled absences will receive an extra paid vacation day at the end of the year.