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Creating A Fair PTO Policy As A Small Business Owner

If you are a new business owner getting ready to hire your first employee, congratulations! This is a big step, and one that puts you that much closer to finding success within your industry. But now you have to create a benefits package for those that call you boss. Vacation, sick leave, and other paid time off is usually at the core of this.


Today, the Asheboro/Randolph Chamber of Commerce offers a little bit of insight into the process of creating a paid time off benefits package for your employees.


Managing Your Policies


Regardless of which type of paid time off perks you offer, you have to manage and organize these policies and documents related to time off requests. A great way to do this is to keep a set of online documents on your computer or cloud drive. You can then convert these to a PDF (click for more info on how to do this), which you can then convert back and forth between word files and PDFs to make edits, sort, and share files as needed.


Unlimited Paid Time Off


Although it may sound radical, it might be advantageous to offer unlimited PTO to employees. There are many benefits of this, and these include:

  • Attracting top talent. If you’re looking for the best in your industry, you have to give them the best in return. Offering an unlimited paid time off plan shows that you trust their expertise and professionalism.

  • Boosting productivity. Employees who have the autonomy to take off when they know they need a day away may return back to work refreshed, relaxed, and ready to tackle problems that arise more so than if they work to the point of exhaustion.

  • Happier employees. There is no question that those who work in the hospitality industry are at a high risk of job burnout. While there are many ways that you can reduce this, offering plenty of time off can keep your employees happier and therefore less prone to work fatigue.


Proceed With Caution


It’s true that there are many benefits of offering an unlimited (or even flexible) time off package, but there are also some drawbacks, and potential abuse of the policies is key to these. A few things to watch for include:

  • Excessive time off. It’s likely that your best and most valuable employees will happily follow the rules, but there may be others who see it as an open invitation to slack off. Make sure that your employees understand that while time off is not limited to a particular number of days, all requests must be approved at least 30 days in advance.

  • Disruptions. Employees that constantly abuse the policy and take off with little warning are a huge workplace disruption. This is another reason that approvals are necessary for any time off policy.

  • Not using the benefit. Although some people may abuse the policy, there are others who simply won’t take time off. Replicon explains that these are the ones who fear they are replaceable or that don’t have enough support to be comfortable leaving because they know they will return to an insurmountable pile of work.


Ultimately, the PTO policy you offer is up to you. Whether you choose to offer unlimited time off or only on select days, make sure that you clearly outline your policy and that you keep detailed and organized records of each employee’s time off requests so that you can address issues if and when they arise.

Join the Asheboro/Randolph Chamber of Commerce to make connections with individuals and other resources that will help you build a winning business in our community!

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