Where Should You Start?
As COVID-19 vaccines become widely available, the mood in the country is rapidly changing from one of anxiety to one of cautious optimism. The speed of vaccine development and improved availability is great news, but it also means that your organization needs to step up planning to keep pace with change.
First, consider your Paid Time Off (PTO) policy. Many organizations allowed employees to rollover 2020 PTO to 2021. If that’s your situation, be prepared for multiple requests for extended vacations during the late summer and late December of 2021. The travel industry is already reporting a strong uptick in airline and hotel bookings. Will you have sufficient staff to accomplish goals if a majority of employees ask to take vacation at the same time?
You can mitigate issues by reviewing and adjusting PTO policies now. For example:
- Should you allow employees to take long weekends to use accrued PTO?
- Suggest using PTO by taking half-days on Fridays?
- Require more notice for vacation requests so that workflow is not impacted?
- Set employee expectations so they understand they might not get their first choice for time off?
As a best practice, we recommend reviewing PTO and other HR workplace policies annually. This is especially important in this transitional time. If employees have been working remotely, will you allow that practice to continue? If so, will you reimburse employees for home office expenses? Are employees requesting permanent fully remote work or a hybrid work model, and if so, have you worked through the details?
Make sure you’re in compliance with HR regulations before finalizing PTO policies. As part of an annual review of workplace policies, we recommend you review and update your employee handbook. Communicating policy changes to employees early on is key to a well-run organization.
If you need HR support, Taylor HR Group is ready to help you plan to ensure smooth sailing in the months ahead.