The Importance of (and Respect for) PTO

The fact that paid time off (PTO) is a hallmark of the modern workforce and is a central component of a high-caliber benefits plan is nothing new. Employers have long understood the need for employees to take time away from work environments such as the office, construction site, classroom, retail shop or hospital floor. Therefore, it has become standard protocol to offer a pool of sick, vacation and personal days available to employees.

Sick days are crucial in helping employees recover faster and avoiding the spread of illness to fellow employees. Vacation days allow employees to escape the routine and get some rest or take a trip while personal time allows for unexpected events or a sudden need for a day of self-care without question. All together, this easily accessible pool of days serves the well-being of each employee, along with your business.


Why Is Your PTO Policy So Important for Your Business?

The increasing focus on work/life balance and overall employee wellness is probably long overdue. It is important to help foster good health and well-being for your employees as fair exchange for the hard work they do to help your business grow.

Take a look at a few more reasons why your PTO policy is so vital and deserves observance and respect:

  • A PTO policy allows employees to allot time the way it works best for them, their lifestyle and their health concerns. (1)
  • Paid time away allows employees to disconnect, wind down, enjoy life and recharge.
  • Employees who work in trusting environments where they have access to vacation time and other paid leave use 13% fewer personal and sick days each year. (2)
  • It offers employees a chance to engage in periodic check-ins to assess their lives and to commit to taking time to de-stress.
  • It allows employees to care for young children, elderly parents or sick loved ones without the stress of explaining their potentially complex situations.
  • It can attract strong candidatesfor key positions in your company who demand a dynamic benefits package with a strong PTO policy. (3)

These and many other benefits show that providing PTO offers a sense of trust and well-being that translates to increased loyalty and growth for your business.


Stand by Your PTO Policy and Respect Employees’ Use of It

Some business leaders forget that PTO means uninterrupted paid leave. With modern capabilities of constant and instant communication, managers sometimes overstep boundaries and encroach on an employee’s vacation time or sick days, which diminishes the value of the time away.

There are some cases where employers seem to resent their organization’s paid time leave policies and the employees who use them. Offering employees a benefit like leave time then asking them to work harder, or worse still, shaming them for taking it, is counterproductive and defeats the purpose to encourage employee wellness.

If you offer paid time off, it is crucial that you foster trust by respecting their time away from the workplace, which means upholding a “no contact” rule. It is important to remind your managers that earned paid time away belongs to employees. (And vice versa – your team will honor YOUR time off as well when you support this balance of work and life).


Encourage Employees to Make Positive Use of Your Thoughtful PTO Policy

The best thing you can do when implementing a paid leave policy is to encourage employees to use it before they seriously need to. Burnout, fatigue, stress, anxiety and depression are things you want to reduce for your employees and, by helping them feel safe to use their paid leave time for better work/life balance, you instantly generate a feeling of goodwill and trust.

To learn more about how our HR solutions can help you design and deploy a solid, realistic and employee-focused PTO policy through custom individualized HR solutions, call us today at 980-422-7953.