Is it time to change your summer vacation system?

Figure out how efficient your company's vacation policy is before the high summer months.

Figure out how efficient your company's vacation policy is before the high summer months.

This blog has featured many articles about different approaches to vacation policies. The high summer months are a prime moment for a company to consider the way they handle this important benefit as well as whether or not it needs to be changed.

Although there are some holidays over the summer that employees may already get paid time off for, most notably the Fourth of July, vacation days will require more planning on behalf of the workers and oversight from the HR department.

There are multiple ways for companies to restructure their vacation policy if they feel it's time for a change. For a somewhat radical approach, businesses can implement an "infinite vacation days" system where employees can take as many days off during the year as they need and aren't given a limited amount of time to choose from. Though there are issues with this type of policy regarding trust and logistics, if it works with company culture, the results could be better productivity and employee quality of life.

On the other end of the spectrum is the more common "use it or lose it" model, where employees have a limited amount of time in which to use their vacation days. In an article for the Society for Human Resource Management, attorney Doug Kaufman said that employees should have a clear, written policy, no matter which strategy they use.

"The number one thing is having a written policy," he said. "Putting all the rules down in writing establishes what people are eligible for. [The policy] should cover all contingencies. That is key." He also recommends asking fundamental questions about when vacation time can be used and how long it can be "stored" for if it isn't.

As long as a department has access to fitting HR software solutions, they will be in a better position to reassess important benefits functions like vacation time that can have a serious impact on employee performance.