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Action, not acrimony

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in Leaders & Managers,Management Training

Teri, a director at an Iowa-based manufacturer, updates us on her attempt to create a policy for employees to donate earned time off to help peers who faced personal emergencies but who had used all their time off.

I'm happy to report that we salvaged our effort to create a policy to allow our full-time employees to give their unused time off to peers who face personal emergencies. Things were looking bleak until we (myself and the CEO) decided that we should formulate a policy and see how our staff responded.

Instead of holding yet another meeting to solicit employees' input—the meetings were turning into acrimonious debates where everyone was raising problems, but no one would propose solutions—the CEO and I took charge.

With the help of a human resources consultant (a friend who gave us free advice in the hope that we hire her down the line), we drafted a policy that states that employees can "transfer their earned time so that another employee with a serious medical condition or jury duty can use it."

We've set up a procedure in which any full-timer in dire need of extra time off can complete a simple form explaining the situation. A three-person committee will review the form and decide whether to approve it. I'm on the committee with two other directors.

The policy stipulates that we will convert the donor's pay rate to the recipient's rate when we transfer the time off, and that the donor cannot subsequently recover time off that he or she has voluntarily given up.

We'll see how it works. Overall, I'm thrilled that we don't need to snipe at each other in meetings anymore. Everyone had such strong opinions about this!

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