Careers

Holiday Calendar:The wisdom of just leaving it to them

Illustration: Sebastian Francis  

A happy employee is often an engaged employee — dictated by this wisdom, a few organisations are allowing their employees to “customise” their holiday calendar. Besides state-declared holidays, they can choose to mark “their holidays” drawing from a special reserve.

Recently, employees of Sasken Technologies got their holiday calendar for 2019. Only that before it was formally handed out to them, the employees themselves were engaged in deciding on its features.

Democratic process

It was a democratic process that brought every employee on board. Associates from the four locations of the company in India voted through a virtual ballot box, thereby picking five days they wanted included in the company’s 2019 holiday calendar. The company observes 10 holidays in a calendar year, which includes both mandatory and company vacation. Based on voting, employees got four additional festival holidays. They would have these holidays in lieu of four Saturdays.

Floating leave

A flexible holiday is another feature that has been adopted by some companies. By virtue of this system, employees get to celebrate days that are important to them, but are not on the official common holiday list.

At Tally Solutions Private Limited, name the festival and you will find it mentioned in the calendar. More than 50 festivals find a mention. The company has offices in more than 20 locations, and allowing employees to pick and choose festivals that appeal the most to them, make them feel valued.

Similarly, at Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions, associates get to choose five festival holidays from a pool of 19. This is apart from the mandatory national holidays.

Extended holiday

Zubin Zack, managing director, O.C.Tanner, a global rewards-and-recognition consultant, says the holiday calendar is an investment a company makes in its employees’ well-being and happiness. It involves planning and feedback from employees. “When such a calendar is well-designed, employees can plan in advance,” says Zack.

In 2018, we pushed the Dussehra holiday from a Thursday to Friday to allow employees to get an extended weekend, he says.

Various studies have shown that for millennials, remuneration is not the main factor encouraging them to stay in a job.

The gift of flexibility is greatly valued by them as it enables them to get the most out of life.

At Cigna TTK Health Insurance, an employee is entitled to 20 days of paid leave along with eight days of casual leave. A quarterly report concerning leave utilisation of all employees is shared with the respective managers.

This not only helps the supervisors to keep track of every employee’s accumulated leave, but also puts them in a position where they can encourage their subordinates to plan their holiday. At Ingersoll Rand, the annual calendar is kept open to add more days of leave to it, if necessary.

A company that does not want to be named revealed that it approached a B-school to make its annual leave calendar more employee-friendly, by incorporating features that will let them have a personalised leave structure.

Unlimited vacation

Some employers offer bottomless holidays, which is basically “take as many days of leave as you want to. Just ensure the work gets done”.

Job site Indeed offer its associates an Open Paid Time Off (PTO) or an unlimited leave policy, wherein employees can take as much time off as they wish.

The company has found that that offering unlimited PTO has checked attrition rate considerably.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2021 1:35:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/careers/the-wisdom-of-just-leaving-it-to-them/article25780095.ece

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