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3 Steps to Implementing a PTO Policy in Your Business

Considering implementing a PTO policy?

In the past, you used to ask your employees to request a “vacation day” or “sick day.”

Employees had an allotted number of days for both.

Employers are starting to move towards PTO (paid time off) policies.

Basically, it includes both – vacation and sick days – into one bank of days or hours off.

In the past, employers used to require their employees to request a “vacation day” or a “sick day” – with an allotted number of days for vacation and for sick. 

What is PTO?

Simply put, PTO is a set number of hours your employees can use for many reasons (vacation, taking care of sick children, doctor’s appointments, personal days, sick days, etc.)

So, for example, let’s say your business in the past has offered two full weeks of vacation and five sick days to an employee each year.

That would equate to a PTO bank of 120 hours that your employee can use in whichever way they need to for that year without itemizing between vacation and sick.

Top 5 Benefits of a PTO policy:

A new survey conducted by Fractl found that, after health insurance, employees place the highest value on benefits that happen to be low-cost to your business

This includes flexible hours and more PTO.

There’s a number of benefits switching from the traditional vacation and sick time to PTO – primarily focused around employee autonomy and work-life flexibility.

Here’s the top 5 benefits of PTO:

  1. Eliminate Categorization of Days Off: Not every employee needs 5 sick days (per the example above). Instead of itemizing the extra 5 days for sick time – your employees can use these days towards a vacation. Your healthy employees don’t feel cheated when they lose their sick days simply because they don’t tend to get sick.
  2. Employee Benefit / Perk: PTO hours makes the employee feel like they have more vacation time – because most employees don’t use all of their allotted sick days. Employees tend to see PTO hours as an added benefit or perk.
  3. Employee Autonomy: Providing PTO hours gives employees more autonomy over their role and responsibility. They have the power and the choice in determining when they want to use their PTO – and whether or not they should allocate/save a certain number of hours towards sick time based on their personal health experience.
  4. Employee Retention: PTO hours help with retention. Employees are more likely to stay at a company that offers a strong PTO plan as part of their employee benefits. The cost of recruiting, hiring and training new employees is significant, and is why most employers are focusing on creative ways to retain employees.
  5. Simplify Tracking Time Off: Tracking employees PTO hours is EASY (with honeybeeBase). Employees can request the hours off (with or without a reason) and those hours can be approved or disapproved by their manager and the hours are then tracked in the employee file.

Things to Consider Before Implementing a PTO Policy:

While there are many benefits to providing employees with PTO, there’s certainly items your company should consider before rolling PTO out to the team.

Offer clear rules and guidelines.

For example, employees that have PTO tend to not take sick time – so they can save their PTO for “fun”. 

However, we all know how unhealthy it is for the business to have a sick employee in the office.

Your policy may indicate that if an employee is ill, you have the power to send them home and allocate PTO hours towards this. 

3 Steps to Implementing a PTO Policy

Step 1: Create a PTO Checklist

Begin by designing a PTO checklist.

Your checklist may include factors such as:

  • How many hours/days do you offer your entry-level employees?
  • How many hours/days do you offer employees that have been with the company for X amount of years? Seniority? Job title?
  • How will holidays be accounted for?
  • What other absences will you include in PTO? (Jury duty, bereavement, etc.)
  • Will employees be able to carry over any unused PTO hours/days?
  • If an employee starts mid-year, will the PTO hours/days be pro-rated? 
  • If an employee leaves the company, will they receive the value of their PTO account? 
  • How will PTO be tracked?
  • How will PTO coordinate with payroll?

Step 2: Design a PTO Policy

Once you have a general idea of what you want your PTO policy to be – work with a legal professional to get it in writing.

Make the language clear and easy to understand.

Outline specific examples to help employees understand how to utilize PTO to their advantage.

Create clear rules and guidelines that outline how NOT to use PTO. That way, if you deny a PTO request – you have something to point to as justification for why it’s denied.

For example, you may have in your policy that only a specific number of people within a department can use PTO at a given time – to ensure the department is staffed appropriately. You may encourage employees to check with their departments before scheduling PTO. 

Your policy is your reference point for request submissions – whether approved or denied.

Step 3: Develop a System to Track PTO

Tracking PTO can be complicated…

That is, unless you have a digital system in place for employees to easily request PTO.

Gone are the days where employees are printing a paper request, submitting the request in your mail tray – and then you are manually tracking PTO in an excel spreadsheet.

Today, technology enables you to automate this process.

Our solution: honeybeeBase.

honeybeeBase allows employees to submit their request for PTO. That request is sent to their manager who can approve/deny the request. If approved, PTO hours are tracked accordingly within that employee’s file and integrated with payroll and recordkeeping processes.

Monitoring employee PTO is important – and if that process can be automated, it can make the monitoring aspect simple. 

With honeybeeBase, employees can log-in to their mobile app or desktop software and know exactly how many days/hours they have in the bank at any given time. 

Start Tracking PTO Today

Ready to automate PTO tracking?

Start for free by signing up here.

Or, schedule a live demo with one of our specialists on staff – who will walk you through the platform in detail and answer any of your questions.

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3 Steps to Implementing a PTO Policy in Your Business
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