Time off is, traditionally, a benefit employees earn just for working at the company. Whether employees earn time off by the hour, day, week, month, or year, it’s dolled out based on the time they put in. But times they are-a-changing and time off is increasingly given to employees for other reasons, such as non-monetary bonuses or rewards for good behavior.
Why Time Off Bonuses Are a Great Idea
Giving bonuses is good for employee retention and for productivity. When employees know a bonus is coming, they are motivated to accomplish more. When employees receive them unexpectedly, it is a clear signal that they’re doing good work. Bonuses make employees happy, which usually benefits the company overall. Bonuses are one way to help achieve that.
The benefit of offering time off as a bonus or reward is that it’s essentially free for the company to do this. You could say that there is the cost of lost productivity and there may even be the cost of replacement in some cases but the payroll cost of offering time off should be low to nothing.
Time Off As a Bonus
Time off from work to do your own thing is such a privilege, there are few who don’t want a little more of it. What a gift it is to be able to get personal things done, take a trip, or just relax. Time off is worth more than money for a lot of employees and, as such, makes a great bonus for a job well done.
Some employees do prefer money, though, to just about anything else, and some can barely find the time to take the time off that they earn each year. For them, time off might not be the right bonus. Find out how your employees feel about time off bonuses and give it a try.
Time Off As a Reward
Offering time off is a creative way to get employees to follow difficult rules. For example, in an environment where employees need to be at work on time, some fraction of an hour of time off can be offered when employees get to work on time. I heard of this trick from a friend of mine that works for a firefighting equipment company. Their shop is not as productive when people are late so they made up this reward to get people in on time. It not only works but it pays for itself too. It’s more expensive to pay people to stand around waiting for their teammates to arrive than it is to give employees the occasional day off.
I imagine there are many more occasions in which a company could offer time off for good behavior. What are your ideas?