their vacation time throughoutthe pandemic and over the longterm. Here’s how:
1. Tell workers to take PTO.
It may sound simple, but manyemployers don’t effectively communicate PTO encouragement totheir employees.
With the unpredictability of theCOVID- 19 economy, many workers may be averse to taking timeoff out of fear of losing their jobs.This belief also prevails in workplace culture – 19% of Americanssaid they avoid taking PTO because they might be seen as lesscommitted to their job.
To quell these fears, be clearand direct in your messaging onPTO, and spread that messagetransparently and often. Also,consider which tactics may workbest to encourage PTO to yourworkforce. For some employers,email messages from your C-suitemay work, while one-on-one conversations or posting to an onlineworkplace community may workbetter for others.
2. Put the message intopractice.
To further strengthen your encouragement of taking P TO, makeuse of your own time off as well.
For many workers, seeing is be-
lieving when it comes to using va-
cation days. We’ve seen this prin-
ciple in the workplace through
the power of transference, as em-
ployees often follow the actions
of their management, whether
they’re positive or negative. Be-
cause of this power of transfer-
ence, you must set the precedent
for taking time off from the top
down with leadership.
Also, pay attention to your ownactions when you’re on PTO. Forinstance, be mindful of checkingon your work while you’re off. Youmay find benefits to tracking workwhile out of the office, but youraction may tell other employees todo the same during their PTO andcause them unwarranted stress.
3. Make organizationalpolicies easily accessible.
In addition to an increased focuson communication, easy access tovacation and COVID- 19 policies iscritical to building a PTO-friendlyculture.
Information on relevant time-
off policies should never be dif-
ficult to locate. To eliminate con-
fusion, distribute a step-by-step
guide on how employees can ac-
cess and use their PTO and sick
days. Additionally, create resourc-
es that break down the finer de-
tails of your vacation policies and
government aid programs such as
CARES and FFCRA (if applicable).
A centralized online platformis an effective way to disseminatethis information as most digitalworkplace platforms allow organizations to pin relevant announcements within the application. A single online platformenables employees to access yourpolicies no matter their location.The platform is also a visible placefor policies to live because theywon’t get lost in email inboxes orin the files of a company drive.
4. Track vacation days used.
While P TO usage data may appearas a basic data set on the surface,it offers advantages to both theemployee and employer.
Even with encouragement touse PTO, some employees maystill feel the need to keep workingwithout taking time off. Prioritizetracking employee PTO usage togauge individual workers’ well-being. Some employees may justneed an extra nudge to use PTOafter seeing how much time theyhaven’t taken off. Active monitoring also better prepares your organization for potential workforcereductions that occur when employees take vacation or sick time.
If you manually track your
PTO usage data, consider lever-
aging an online workplace plat-
form to save time. Many plat-
forms offer tools that monitor
vacation days and sick time with
automation technology, allow-
ing for quick and easy access to
It shouldn’t have taken a pandemic to emphasize the importance of employee well-being.
But now it’s time for businessesto prioritize PTO for their employees’ health and happiness.Not only do essential workersdeserve time off, but the positive effects they see from takingPTO will benefit your businessover the long term. With the rightblend of employee communication, a centralized workplaceplatform and time-off tracking,you can eliminate the pervasivestigma tied to PTO.
Employers and executives haveanother weight on their shouldersbesides setting good examplesfor employees for PTO – they arebeginning to feel the financialpressure many employees areexperiencing.
Almost two-thirds of employerssaid they feel “extreme responsibility” for their employees’ financial wellness, and 83% recognizeproductivity gains as a result ofthat wellness, according to a studyby Bank of America. Still, financialwellness among workers has beenin decline over the past couple ofyears.
Bank of America’s “10th An-
nual Workplace Benefits Re-
port” found that 62% of employers
said they feel extremely respon-
sible for the financial well-being
of their employees, up from 13%
in 2012 when the study first be-
gan probing employers’ feelings
on the subject. More employers
of all sizes are offering these types
of plans, and the range of topics
addressed by workplace wellness
programs has increased.
And yet, the share of workers
who rate their financial wellness
as good or excellent has fallen
from 61% in 2018 to 49% in 2020.
The timing of the study is certainly a factor in the most recentresults. Study data was collectedin March, right as the pandemic
began to spread around the United States.
The most valuable resource tohelp them reach their goals, workers said, is advice from a financialprofessional. Over 40% of workerssaid this would be the most important resource their employercould offer them.
Other key findings included the
• The top reason workers gave for
feeling like they can’t reach their
financial goals is that they don’t
have enough to cover their ex-
penses and save: 38% of respon-
dents said this was their biggest
obstacle, followed by 18% who
pointed to nonfinancial goals
that were more pressing.
• Women, Gen X and millennialemployees were least likely torate their financial wellnessas good or excellent, and mayneed more support to accomplish their goals.
• Younger workers tend to prioritize short-term goals, like paying off debt or buying a house,while Gen X and boomer workers are more interested in saving for retirement.
• Although more than half ofworkers said they are planningfor health care expenses in retirement, only 13% are doingso in a dedicated way. What’sworse, almost a quarter said it’snot even something they thinkabout. n
PTOCONT. FROM PAGE 1
Y Employers should encourage employees totake PTO or risk employee satisfaction andheadcount from burnout.
Y Research shows if executives take PTO, itallows lower-level employees to feel like theycan too.
Y Employees who rate their financial wellness asgood or excellent fell by 12% since 2018.