How ‘PTO’-Type Programs Can Benefit PR Firms

Whether senior managers primed for the C-suite or junior account executives eager for promotion, staff retention is one of the biggest challenges now facing PR agency owners.

The traditional two-week vacation plus a few personal/sick days throughout the calendar year no longer seem to cut it for many employees, millennials in particular.

To assuage the situation, a growing number of companies offer paid leave programs as an incentive to keep their employees in the fold.

A “PTO bank-type system,” for instance, is a defined plan that offers a combined bucket of available days to be used for a variety of types of absences. This creates a pool of paid days employees may use at their discretion

As goes employee churn, employers may have to ramp up PTO programs in order to attract and retain the best talent, thanks to a recent survey.

The survey, which was released earlier this month, took the pulse of 625 WorldatWork members. Roughly a quarter of those executives surveyed work for companies with 100 to 499 employees while 5 percent of companies polled work for companies with fewer than 100 employees.

Nearly 90 percent of the respondents said that it is necessary to offer some type of paid time off program to attract top talent and drive organizations success.



“Organizations understand they can no longer be competitive if they don’t get creative with their own paid time off benefits,” Lenny Sanicola, senior practice leader at WorldatWork, a nonprofit human resources association, told Bloomberg BNA. “For many employees, paid time off is more important than other traditional pay and benefits,”

Asked what the primary motivation(s) for implementing a PTO bank-type system, 63 percent of the respondents said it was “to grant employees more flexibility” and 55 percent of the respondents said it was because they are “easier to administer.” Just 22 percent of the respondents said it was to improve employee morale.

However,  if PR agency owners are going to take pains to offer PTO bank-type systems to their employees they best do so with eyes wide open because the returns are not necessarily what you expect from a program designed to improve staff retention and increase the firm’s long-term appeal among employees.

To wit, asked how to describe the effect of the PTO bank-type system on their organization’s absentee situation, 41 percent of the respondents said it improved absenteeism, but 58 percent said it had no impact on absenteeism and 1 percent said it worsened absenteeism.

Nearly 30 percent of the respondents said they have a voluntary turnover rate between 16 percent and 41 percent or more.

Does your PR or ad firm offer your employees PTO programs? If so, how have they been performing?



Chart: Hat tip to WorldatWork