i Dear Workforce-i Should We Recognize Experience With Competitors When Crafting Vacation Policy

October 31, 2002

Dear Experimenting:

Hefty vacation packages are a competitive tool, but can be counterproductive.You are hiring people to be at work, not to be on vacation. Let your competitorsdangle more vacation time in front of specialized workers. You should look atdoing something more creative than a length-of-vacation contest.

Here are some ideas:

Pay the employee’s vacation expenses. Example: Motek Inc, a software housein Beverly Hills, California, puts away $100 per week for each employee who isat work that week (and meets assigned results). At the end of a year, when it’svacation time, the company gives the employee $5,000 toward vacation expenses.Money must be used for vacation--not a new car or home remodeling.

Other ideas: a spa day, for the employee and perhaps the employee’s spouse.This only costs you a day of productivity, but will be deeply appreciated. Orconsider special days off when kids are not in school for teacher in-servicetraining days. In the interest of being equitable, you should also give floatingdays for employees who don’t have kids in school. Provide tickets to concerts,sporting events, theatre -- these are low cost, high perceived value, minimaltime lost from productivity.

If these specialized employees go to conferences, consider an extra day offin the destination city, perhaps with the spouse included. Get creative --don’tjust do what everyone else does. Remember, while you need top talent to get thejob done, the job won’t get done if they’re not there.

SOURCE: RogerHerman, certified speaking professional and certifiedmanagement consultant, co-author of How to Become an Employer ofChoice,Greensboro, North Carolina, June 10, 2002.

LEARN MORE: See, "Vacation: An Untapped Recruiting and RetentionTool"

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

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