12 Tested Ways to Manage Time-Off Requests around the Holidays

12 Tested Ways to Manage Time-Off Requests around the Holidays time off request policy request time off policy

For most HR practitioners, trying to coordinate a pile of time-off requests for the upcoming holiday season is hardly your favorite part of the job. No one really wants to be the one to tell employees that their request to spend time with their families during the holidays is being rejected, but depending on a whole slew of factors—industry, company size, production schedules, client demands, staffing levels, or even job specific duties—sometimes the reality is, the work has to get done.

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Will Employees be Grateful for Time Off this Thanksgiving?

Will Employees be Grateful for Time Off this Thanksgiving?

According to the results of ERC’s 2015 annual Paid Holiday Survey, in addition to the Thanksgiving Day Holiday, most Northeast Ohio employers are providing a paid-full-day-off the day after Thanksgiving (Friday, November 27). A handful are also providing a full or half-day the day before.

Thanksgiving Infographic

View ERC's Holiday Practices and Paid Holiday Survey Results

These surveys report on which holidays Northeast Ohio organizations plan to observe as well as holiday parties, gift giving, and more ideas for the holiday season.

View the Results

Hot Holiday Gifts for Employees & Employee Reward Gifts

holiday gifts for employees employee reward gifts Hot Holiday Gifts & Employee Rewards in 2014

The 2014 ERC Holiday Practices Survey found that 57% of Northeast Ohio employers plan to distribute gifts to their employees in the 2014 holiday season.

For the past several years, this figure has remained largely stagnant, as has the top gift of the season: gift cards. Employers choose gift cards for many of the same reasons as individuals might, including that employers can easily purchase and distribute large quantities of these gifts no matter how large or small their organization.

In some cases employers also noted that they were able to purchase these gift cards using reward points from corporate credit cards, making them a virtually cost-free gift giving option.

Other consistently reported gifts, from most popular to least in 2014, include:

  • Cash
  • Company logo items ranging from clothing to mugs
  • A variety of foodstuffs, such as turkeys and hams (sometimes one at Thanksgiving and the other at Christmas)
  • Raffle items as gifts
  • Gift baskets, again largely made up of various foodstuffs
  • Clothing, including outerwear
  • Electronics
  • Candy

Several unique observations can be made about this 2014’s list. First, one item that was noticeably absent from this year’s list of gifts was alcohol. Although, it has been on the decline in recent years, 2014 is the first year in which no organizations reported gifting alcohol to employees. Candy has also fallen to very low levels, this year reported as the gift of choice at only 2% of organizations.

As a cost saving measure, larger items, such as electronics or more extravagant gift cards or cash are sometimes raffled off at holiday parties. However, organization choosing to raffle off larger items typically still provided smaller gift cards, etc to all employees in order to maintain some equity among the staff.

Despite the decline in popularity of some of these smaller token items, another option that employers often consider as the holidays approach is actually on the rise, i.e., the traditional holiday bonus. A nearly identical proportion of the overall participants in 2014 are giving holiday bonuses as did 2013, i.e. 30%.

However, every year since 2010, the average size of this cash holiday bonus has increased, up by over $150 since 2013 to $980 in 2014. The qualifications for receiving this bonus are primarily focused on the performance of the individual and/or the performance of the company (in terms of profitability) over the year. However, still other organization indicate that all employees receive a holiday bonus regardless of these performance measures.

View ERC's Holiday Practices and Paid Holiday Survey Results

These surveys report on which holidays Northeast Ohio organizations plan to observe as well as holiday parties, gift giving, and more ideas for the holiday season.

View the Results

Time-Off Roundup: Holidays, Unlimited Vacation and More

Time-Off Roundup: Holidays, Unlimited Vacation and More

Vacation policy: it may be one of the most important components of the compensation package to some people. Offering time-off options to employees is pretty varied, including holidays, vacations, sick leave, personal leave, and bereavement leave. These types of benefits are quite valuable to employees when analyzing the benefits package at a potential new job.

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