Total Rewards COVID-19 Recording - 7/16/20 - Paid Holidays with Susan Handler, Aviso International

In response to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak and its unprecedented impact to business and employers, i4cp holds a weekly series of standing calls to help Total Rewards leaders navigate this unpredictable time.

In light of recent events, primarily the coronavirus pandemic and the civil unrest that followed the death of George Floyd, many companies are rethinking the scope of the paid holidays they offer their employees. 

On i4cp’s July 16 Total Rewards Leader COVID-19 Action call, total rewards leaders from organizations such as Coherent Inc., Kelly Services Inc., and Microsoft joined special Q&A guest Susan Handler, director of Aviso International, to discuss how their companies are approaching paid holidays going forward. Some highlights:  

  • Some organizations are expanding the number of paid holidays available to employees, or are considering doing so in the days ahead. An instant poll on i4cp’s July 9 Total Rewards Leader COVID Action call asked whether organizations are doing so, with 33% saying their company now has more paid holidays, and another 22% saying their firm is considering it for 2021. When asked what has led their organization to expand or consider expanding the number of paid holidays available to employees, 17% of those on the call indicated that an increased focus on employee well-being is driving the decision, with 11% saying their goal is provide employees with better work/life balance. Some participants shared the specific holidays they’ve added, such as affording employees the day off on their birthday, or by adding Christmas Eve to the holiday schedule at the request of employees.  
  • Whether it’s by providing a paid holiday or observing it in other ways, organizations are recognizing Juneteenth. A recent i4cp pulse survey reflects as much, with 29% of respondents saying their company is offering education to employees on the meaning of Juneteenth, and another 18% saying their firms held a Juneteenth town hall or other forum for employees to discuss the topic. On today’s call, organizations shared how their firms are acknowledging this important day in American history.

    Pete Manias, senior director of compensation at Microsoft, noted that the organization observed Juneteenth in 2020 by dedicating the day to education, reflection and training around the significance of Juneteenth. Other companies are offering multiple floating holidays each year, as a way to address Martin Luther King Day, Juneteenth or religious holidays, for example, that might differ from standard U.S. holidays that the company already recognizes each year.
  • The coronavirus pandemic and the resulting shift toward more virtual work is having an impact on performance management. In a preview of the main topic for the July 23, 2020 Total Rewards Leader COVID-19 Response series call, today’s second instant poll asked participants to gauge the extent to which COVID-19 and the corresponding increase in virtual work has affected how their organizations approach performance management. Half of respondents said this has had a moderate impact (40%) or a significant effect (10%), with the remaining half seeing a small impact or no impact at all.

In addition to this recording, please see these resources: