How Important Is Your Leave Policy?

How Important Is Your Leave Policy?

Research shows that a company’s leave policy is actually very important, for many reasons. The leave policy includes ability to take time off when sick, for family emergencies, for family changes, and just for fun. Why does a policy such as this matter so much?

The obvious reason is that a generous leave policy increases employee morale, and therefore retention. Why does retention matter? Employees cannot work if they are not present, after all.

Health
A generous sick leave policy is vital to the health of your employees. If employees feel they must be at work despite illness, or if they feel they cannot take the time necessary to schedule appointments needed to keep themselves healthy, they are going to be unhealthy, by default.

A company full of unhealthy employees is going to slowly become an unhealthy company, if not due to illness, then due to turnover, reduced productivity, or low morale. Turnover is not healthy for a company, because training reduces productivity as much as illness can.

Family
While the Family Medical Leave act guarantees parents time off for the birth or adoption of a child, it is not guaranteed that this leave will be paid. The United States is one of only two countries that do not offer paid leave to new parents.

It could be to the company’s detriment not to do so however. If employees do not take adequate time to acclimate to parenthood away from work, they are likely to suffer productivity issues when they return. It is difficult to take adequate time when pay is an issue.

Large corporations have seen a noticeable increase in the product of new parents returning to work when given adequate paid leave, as well as a reduction in new parents leaving the company all together.

Fun
Burnout is a very real issue in the working world. Allowing time for vacations is a major way to not only decrease stress and burnout, but also increase productivity. A break from the grind is a huge factor in steady and even increased productivity.

Accountability
By encouraging employees to take adequate time away from work, you are able to get a feel for what happens when they are not around. Can others pick up their work for a short time if needed? Is more cross-training necessary? Are sufficient fraud precautions in place?

Ensuring your leave policy is the best it can be to support the health of your employees and your company is vital to success.