Everyone needs some time off. Working long stretches without a vacation can put a toll on a person and lead to stress, a lack of work-life balance, and burn-out. Unfortunately, your optometric practice relies on your staff members to run a successful, efficient practice that meets patient needs. So, how do you create an effective PTO policy for your optometric practice that protects your practice, rewards your staff, and keeps your practice running efficiently?
This post provides a few options to consider when creating a PTO policy for your optometric practice.
Questions To Ask When Creating Your Optometric Practice PTO Policy
Should sick-time and vacation be separated?
A lot of companies combine sick-time and vacation into one bucket to make it easier to track time off and reduce unscheduled absences. However, when combined, employees often end up coming to work sick to preserve vacation days which could delay their recovery time and jeopardize the health of the rest of the practice and your patients.
How will my staff obtain their PTO?
Two popular options for distributing vacation days is by accruing vacation days throughout the year or granting days annually. When your employees accrue vacation days, they are given a certain number of days each month. This strategy works well for employers because if an employee decides to leave or if the employee isn’t working out, you only have to pay out for the days the individual accrued.
With granted days, you distribute a lump sum of vacation days, usually at the start of the year or the start of the person’s employment. If a staff member joins your practice after the start of the year, it’s common to provide a prorated number of vacation days based on their start time.
What happens if my staff doesn’t use the time?
According to this 2017 article, nearly 70% of employees surveyed had some or all of their vacation day balance left at the end of the year. So what happens to those vacation days? Some employers let all or a portion of the unused vacation time rollover into the next period, while others apply the “use it or lose it” strategy. While the rollover method may boost morale, it may also lead to staff members with a large stockpile of vacation days. However, the “use it or lose it” strategy may be illegal in a few states and may also result in a lot of vacation requests at the end of the year.
Whatever you decide, work with an attorney with an understanding of labor laws to help you draft an effective PTO policy that works for you and your optometric practice staff.
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