Kick the vacation bucket for better performance

The employee benefit commonly known as vacation / sick time has evolved over the years. It has been done so many ways it can make a new employer dizzy. Now we seem to be embarking on a mass shift in ideology to a simpler more productive model. More companies are doing away with limits on paid time off alltogether.

The task of managing time off benefits can be a dreaded one for employers. You have to consider annual lump sum grants vs accruing time off through the year, increases in the maximum time allotted based on tenure, and tracking your outstanding financial liability for employees unused time. Employees on the other hand are always concerned about their balance and "managing" (practicing the fake cough for that needed Monday or Friday off)  the use of sick time when vacation time runs out.

Here is an alternative, let people take as much time as they want. This concept isn't perfect either but the good may out weigh the bad. Let's take a look as some pros and cons.

When surveying employers research shows employees are more productive in light of their new sense of freedom. Knowing paid time off is there for you any time you need it causes you to now worry about using it. When good employers offer good people work they actually enjoy and find challenging so who needs a day off.

Unlimited time off is an administrative breeze. You don't have to reset employee balances each year. There is no anxiety for staff over the "use it or loose it" policy. The payroll person (one of your many hats) doesn't have to track what has been used, accrued, and nor the remaining balance.

While all that sounds good you will have to be mindful of one potential pitfall, burnout! You know why retailers freely hand out rebates on the purchase of new products? Because they know very few people will actually redeem them. You don't want to be that type of employer.

See to it that people get out of the office and recharge. An employee would be grateful to know they are being kickout of the office with pay.


Offer amnesty in the office and throw a party

Company holiday season is approaching and you are wondering if and how you can pay for it this year. You know that team building is important but taking the time out of the day to do it costs you in lost productivity. These important activities can all be covered if you make the HR and purchasing departments pay for it!

Here is a great way to bring people together who may not interact that often and cut spending at the same time. Conduct an office supply amnisty day. It goes something like this:

  1. Set a date and time for all employees to bring in unused office supplies. 
  2. Give at least two announcments two weeks and one week in advance of the scheduled date.
  3. The linch pin to this undertaking is to assure everyone that there will be no ridicule or retribution dispensed on hoarders. Add a bit of competition to see which person or department can turn in the most items. Have them dig deep checking every drawer, credenza, and file cabinet.
  4. Have the person in charge of ordering supplies collect all excess items. You can then sort and redistribute based on pending request for supplies.
  5. Make the collect site a common area and bring in lunch or snacks. This can be a great community building effort. 
So far the best result I have heard of is a company that traditionally purchased $20,000 of supplies each month not placing a single office supply order for the next month after the office supply amnisty day. Wheather you company is large or small in staff size you can have a good laugh together and cut cost while doing it. 

Give it a try then comment below to share your results and what you did with the savings.


Best Place to what?

Being honored as a "best place to work" is a feather in your cap whether the list is national in scope or from the local chamber of commerce. The recognition is for the hard work you have invested in making your business a place good employees want to come and stay. You have assembled the right mix of salary, benefits, environment, and challenge for you staff to prospers.
Here are the components that go into evaluating companies that make one of the annual Fortune list. As with all relationships, the foundation is trust between the employee and employer. If you are a start-up lay the ground work for trust before you hire employee. For established employers let the end of this post be the beginning of a new path.

  1. Pay your staff on time and accurately. They can volunteer at the shelter if they want to work for free. 
  2. Communication often. Repetition is key.
  3. Establish clear and consistent policies.
  4. Have measurable expectation of employees and yourself.

Taking this approach to employment will help you maximize the human resources each staff member brings to work each day. The goal of employing people is simple. Employ better ideas and tools to get and keep better staff, who will attract and retain better consumers who gladly pay better prices.


Equipping people to make money (for you!)

This is exactly why EmployBetter was create.

Customer rant on Facebook:

"went to Just Tires for an oil change and was told that I MUST make an online appointment. Really? Even though I'm standing right in front of the guy that would be changing my oil? Unbelievable..........."

We can agree on this assumption: The purpose of a business is to take money from consumers in exchange for goods and or services (at a profit) the consumer either chooses not to do or can't provide for themselves. 

In this scenario here are some things to employ better:

  1. Training, and documentation for employees that makes clear the level of care the business wants to provide.
  2. A CRM or booking system that can be overridden by staff on site. Give latitude for good judgement to prevail.
  3. Provide a kiosk or mobile app that allows the customer to make onsite, on the spot appointments.
  4. People that want to own the customer experience not just follow the manual, pass the buck, or simply collect a check.
Every person in your company is a sales person. They are selling consumers on why they should spend time and money with you or why they should not spend time and money with you.  Either way, a sale is made. 


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