Paid Time Off (PTO): How to Ensure Employees Use it Properly

Having allotted Paid Time Off (PTO) for employees is a tremendous benefit, but only when employees are using it properly. According to Joseph Jackson, Founder and Managing Partner of The Resource Squad, PTO isn’t always utilized the way it was intended. That, according to Jackson, can be a detriment both to hard-working employees and to the company overall.

“Many employees are just far too busy to take the PTO they’ve earned,” said Jackson. “This can hurt both the employee and the company,” he added. Jackson said employees who don’t take PTO on a regular basis may suffer burnout, which can negatively affect productivity. “Or, in some cases,” Jackson added, “employees may lose their PTO entirely because their employer has a ‘use it or lose it’ policy.”

“What you don’t want,” said Jackson, “is for employees to feel overworked and to have no reasonable ability to use the PTO that is part of their employment package.”

On the employer side of the equation, employee burnout is always a liability, according to Jackson. What’s more, he shared, is that employees rushing to use their PTO may do so at an inconvenient time when their job duties cannot be handled by their co-workers. “Or,” as Jackson pointed out, “companies that allow employees to cash out their PTO may end up suffering a financial burden when a burned-out employee leaves the company and they have to write a check for the unused PTO.”

“What a lot of employers don’t realize is that properly-used PTO is in everyone’s best interest, so it’s important that it’s managed correctly,” Jackson said.

The solution, according to Jackson, is for companies to write their time off policies to hedge against the ways in which PTO can be misused. Jackson advised that companies should ensure their staff are scheduling time off when there is adequate staff coverage for their job duties. Employees should also be required to take at least one week off annually, as opposed to rolling over, losing, or cashing out the PTO. “Ideally, only a portion of PTO should be eligible for rollover or cash out,” Jackson said. “This will encourage employees to use the time allotted for them.”

“At the end of the day,” Jackson advised, “we all need time away from work to recharge so we can be as productive as possible at work. Good PTO policies help make that happen.”

Creating employee policies that work for employees and employers alike is one of the specialties of The Resource Squad. Contact The Resource Squad today for help in managing your employee benefits for the health of your employees and your bottom line.