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    Workstream | 3 min read

    Exploring Best Buy's "Gift of Time" Policy and its Benefits for Hourly Workers

    Best Buy's "Gift of Time" policy is one of the most innovative HR policies that has ever been implemented by a large company. It gives employees the ability to donate some of their vacation time to another employee, which can be used in several ways. This policy applies to most of their employees but today we'll focus on how part-time employees can leverage it. Part-time hires often don't enjoy the same perks that full-time workers do, but with this policy, they too can get some valuable benefits. 

    Let's explore how this policy works and what employees can gain from it: 

    More flexibility in their schedule

    For many part-time employees, it's not about the money and dedicating themselves to a certain career and position. The most important thing for them is to have some flexibility in their schedule, whether to study, develop their skills, or find better jobs.

    This policy further allows employees to control their time and make arrangements amongst themselves. If an employee is, for example, busy taking care of a family member that is sick or old, this policy can give them more time to do so. 

    If an employee decides to give someone else at work their vacation time, they can do this freely, allowing the other employee to use it at will. Within Best Buy, there have been a number of examples where several employees donated a small amount of their vacation to their colleague as a birthday gift, so that they can get some well-deserved rest on their special day. 

    Potential for more vacation time 

    When senior colleagues want to help their junior coworkers in getting more time off, they can do so easily with this policy. This is because the vacation time is calculated on a dollar-to-dollar basis rather than hour to hour. 

    Simply put, if an employee who earns $15 per hour gives two hours to an employee who earns $10 per hour, that person will not receive two hours of vacation but three, as the amount of vacation given needs to be the same in financial terms. Here's how that calculation would look like:

    2 hours x $15 per hour= $30, while 3 hours x $10 per hour = $30

    This HR policy on donating vacation days is complacent with all the laws and company policies. Employees can use them freely without worrying about getting into trouble, as long as they fill out the necessary paperwork. 

    Additional time off 

    If an employee has spent all their paid vacation time, another employee who still has remaining hours can give it to them.  The maximum amount that can be donated to another employee is four weeks. This doesn't mean that a single employee needs to donate that much – multiple employees can pool their vacation time to reach that limit. 

    Since part-time work can be less exhausting in some cases, employees might not even use up all their vacation time. They can give it to someone that is in great need of vacation due to emergency situations or issues in their personal life. 

    This extra time can be used to get their lives in order without having to quit or risk losing their jobs. At the same time, employees can make an agreement with those that gifted them vacation time to do the same for them next year should they need it. 

    They can get the time to deal with a serious illness 

    Under the guidelines of this policy, employees can gift vacations for a number of reasons. These include personal issues, taking care of family members, injuries, or most importantly, due to serious illnesses. There are many examples of employees falling ill at a bad time when they've used up their sick time as well as vacation time, and they are forced to quit their jobs to deal with it. 

    This might sound harsh but it's the reality which some employees have to face. The Gift of Time policy gives coworkers the opportunity to help each other when they need it the most. 

    Best Buy's Gift of Time policy has had great success. This is why there are more and more gifting time policies out there, as companies have recognized the potential of this approach. 

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