Is it just me, or is the idea of Bank Holidays a bit old hat? Yes, I know its historical origins, and yes, I also agree that a well-earned day off now and then is really quite smashing – in fact, I believe, they are essential to our general health and wellbeing. Oh yes, I am definitely pro the principle of Public Holidays!
It’s not the general idea of a Bank Holiday that’s grating with me though – it’s the unchanged application of an 18th century construct in the 21st century which I have a problem with. Things have moved on a smidge guys – it’s not just the Bankers that need a day off from the daily grind. And not everyone observes the same cultural or religious holidays anymore.
We are lucky to live in a beautifully diverse world, so we need to challenge the cultural norms that are traditionally projected onto each individual and consider these norms may not reflect each person’s observations, beliefs and lifestyle. And if we believe that people are our most important workplace resource, why shouldn’t everyone have the opportunity to celebrate what’s important to them and feel included in doing so, regardless of who they are, what they believe in and where they come from?, A day off to observe a religious holiday or celebrate the start of Spring might just not float your boat!
So here’s a radical idea for you – why not let your staff nominate their own bank holidays?
Public holidays need no longer be set days.
Now let that thought sink in. Not such a bad idea, huh?
Let your staff choose to work on a day that is a public holiday and swap it for another work day instead. If they don’t celebrate Easter, they are welcome to swap the day for another one that is important to them – St. Patricks Day, National Doughnut Day, (yes, I’m still obsessed with this), a special anniversary, or perhaps their birthday. It matters not, which day they choose. What really matters is that they have been given the flexibility and freedom to choose what matters most to them – and because of this they will be all the better engaged and loyal to you. And let’s face it, you could surely do without the headache of all your staff being out of the office on the same day in August, leaving you with zero telephone cover.
The other major benefit worth mentioning is the positive impact on your recruitment message – a progressive and flexible approach to staff benefits like this would really stand out from the crowd in what is an increasingly competitive recruitment marketplace. And all this upside for little or no cost. Bingo!
So what is stopping you from rolling out a new approach to holiday entitlement in 2019?
It really is as easy as 123. All you need to do is contact me and I will review your employment contracts for you – quick, easy, and a high return on investment. Simples.