buy vacation daysIf you’re a manager or business owner, you’re no doubt are familiar with the frustration brought on by employee absenteeism. There are always one of two in every office situation – they just seem to be gone more than their vacation time allows, while another group of employees lets their allotment dissipate without using all of their days. NBCNews has reported that there is a solution for employers who wish to strike a vacation balance with their employees.

Buy and Sell Vacation Time

Some employers are letting their employees sell their excess and unused vacation time back to the company. The employers then take these extra vacation days and put them up for sale to employees who would like additional time off. This plan, which has so far only been adopted by a few businesses, treats “time as a resource.” Like all resources, time off can be used by those who need it and ignored by those who do not.

The set-up is pretty simple. Employers determine a set enrollment period at the beginning of every year. At that point in time, employees who will not use their allotted vacation time sell it back to the company. Generally, the company will pay them their salary for those days and the payment is dispersed over the entire year’s pay checks. Then, employees who want additional vacation time buy it from the pooled extra time. Again, the cost is one’s salary for those days and the payment is deducted from checks over the course of year.

While this method certainly requires more work for you as an employer, it will help cut down on the scheduling nightmares that happen when people call in sick to extend their vacation time. Moreover, if you already use an online scheduling program, you should be able to set this program up without learning a new method.

Increased Flexibility and Employee Satisfaction

So far, companies that have implemented this system seem to like the increased flexibility. Employees who would not use their vacation time appreciate the boost to their paychecks and those who desire extra time away do not end up calling in “sick” throughout the year. Furthermore, the program does not seem to be too difficult for businesses to implement. Because the vending and purchase process takes place during a set timeframe at the beginning of the year, scheduling concerns can be handled before any problems arise.

This idea that you can buy and sell vacation time amongst employees could work for your business, especially if you have found yourself with more employees than you have had in previous years. It seems as though the key factors to making this system work are having a hard and fast deadline by which employees must enroll and a system for handling the payments. At the very least, it may help to increase your business’s productivity by avoiding the situation where employees call in sick frequently to extend their vacation time.

What do you think of this idea? Have you tried anything similar in your business?