Showing posts from October, 2011

How Our Sick Bank Works

Ten years ago we combined our sick and vacation programs into a comprehensive Paid Time Off (PTO) bank.  A couple of years ago we moved from a PTO-payout program to a use-it-or-lose-it program. This was in response to the Recession for financial reasons. It wasn't simply that paying out unused sick/vacation time was an expense. It was also that accrued but unused PTO has to be booked each month as a liability against company profits due to the fact that is a payable obligation under most states' Wage and Hour regulations. Even if you use that time to take a vacation, between the time that you accrue it and the time you actually take the vacation the value of that time is a financial liability. Moving to a use-it-or-lose-it program is a difficult move for employees. There are all manner of reasons why people forfeit unused time at year's end, from simple mismanagement all the way to work demands and won't allow for all time to be taken. For that reason we implemented S

Separating Person and Behavior

One of the hardest things for managers, especially inexperienced ones, to do in a Christian organization is to call out unacceptable behavior. Doing so can cause conflict or hurt feelings and we are taught as Christians to be kind. Working oftentimes in small work groups, offending one of your staff can mean having 1/3 of your workforce mad at you. For that reason two things often happen: either the manager doesn't address the behavior at all or does so with so much positive "spin" that the corrective message doesn't get through. In either case two bad things happen. In the short term the behavior gets worse, and in the long term the manager gets fed up and wants to terminate the individual who may not understand what they did wrong. Ken Blanchard, in the old "One Minute Manager" series explained how to do this well. He spoke of separating the individual from their behavior: loving and supporting the person but not tolerating what they did. It is