Time-Off Incentives Can Recharge a Hard Working Staff


NEW YORK—A New York Times article reported on a six-month study called “Profit at the Bottom of the Ladder” conducted by Institute for Health and Social Policy at McGill University and published by Harvard Business Review on how companies around the world use incentives in the workplace. The report advised, “that investing in employees’ well-being yielded dividends for companies.” The bottom line of the report indicated that offering employees the opportunity to earn extra time off with pay is a good option because it helps to restore their minds and bodies from the arduous tasks most face on the job.

Along with corporate wellness incentives that boost employee lifestyle balance, such as flextime and remote work, the ability to earn more time off can be an attractive incentive for many workers. This benefit can help retain a productive workforce for the long-term—a factor that helps any organization move forward with a strong team. As far back as 2008, a survey titled “Examining Paid Leave in the Workplace,” published by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) advised that, “Leave and other employee benefits are important tools in the retention efforts for the current and future workplace.” However, paid time off costs employers if not managed correctly, right behind the cost of providing health insurance.

The key to offering a well-rounded benefit program that includes earned time off is to have a system for tracking employees’ worked time and time off requests. The SHRM report also offered other things to ponder when creating a reasonable earned time off program, such as:

• Consider the demographics of your employees to determine if an earned time off strategy is a useful benefit.

• Determine how any unscheduled time off earned could possibly affect the dynamics of your workplace and your business operation.

• Decide if a paid time off program will reduce human capital costs, as an alternative to offering a set amount of vacation or sick days.

Overall, employees enjoy having the freedom to choose when and if they want to take some much-deserved time off. The option to work for a company that appreciates and honors the personal lives of their staff can be an attractive incentive to most.

Hedley Lawson, Contributing Editor
Managing Partner
Aligned Growth Partners, LLC