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How Do I Develop a System for Employees Accruing Personal Time?

Dear Workforce:


I am a new HR coordinator and have been asked to develop a system for employees accruing vacation/sick/personal time. I would appreciate any ideas. We are a very small company of eight employees. Our small company has never had a system for accrual of employee vacation/sick/personal time. Where do we begin?


— No Starting Point, HR coordinator, health care, Illinois

October 25, 2013
Related Topics: Family and Medical Leave Act, Benefits Design and Communication, Legal Compliance, Employee Leave, Paid Time Off, HR and Workforce Trends, Policies and Procedures, Dear Workforce

Dear No Starting Point:

Although you work for a small company, it is wise to consider your time off programs. The value of pay and benefits for employees not at work may be the most costly benefit you provide, and the manner in which you structure, communicate and administer your time off programs will influence the organization’s culture.

There are four phases to establishing a time off program, regardless of the company size:

·          Establish a philosophy. First, clarify the organization’s objectives. In broad terms, how do you want to present the company to current and prospective employees (e.g., as a company with a high-performance culture, or one that provides a good work/life balance or makes a difference in the world)? What do you want to accomplish (e.g., attract vs. retain talent, promote personal renewal)? What are the desired outcomes?

·          Design the program.It should align with your stated objectives and be financially viable. The trend has been toward a combined leave program for vacation, holiday and sick time, often referred to as a PTO (paid time off) program. A well-designed PTO program will give employees the autonomy to determine how to use their time, reward healthy and productive employees and help manage staffing levels and costs.

·          Implement the program.Running a PTO program requires well-functioning administrative processes and a system for tracking time off. The program’s success will depend on how you present it to employees.

·          Monitor the results.Establish metrics and institute regular reporting to determine if the PTO program achieves the desired objectives and to help fine-tune the program as your company grows.

PTO programs play an important role in an organization's total rewards and healthy enterprise strategies. According to Sibson Consulting research, paid time off is one of the most cost-effective rewards a company can offer and one of the most important for promoting a healthy and effective workplace.

SOURCE:Steven F. Cyboran, Sibson Consulting, Chicago, October 24, 2013


 The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

If you have any questions or concerns about, please email or call 312-676-9900.

The Workforce fax number is 312-676-9901.

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