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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, December 17, 2016 10:01 pm

Sunday holidays mean fewer days off

Lisa Green | The Journal Gazette

The calendar year might seem a bit of a thief this year.

Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on Sundays – already a day off for many.

And as is typically the case when those holidays fall on a weekend, the calendar will limit the number of paid days off compared with last year, according to Bloomberg BNA, which has been tracking U.S. holiday employer practices since 1980.

Three or more paid holidays are slated for employees at less than one-half of organizations – 46 percent. Last year, when the holidays were on a Friday, 57 percent of employers provided three or more paid days off.

Aside from the Mondays following Christmas and New Year’s, the days employers are most likely to provide as paid days off are the Fridays preceding Christmas (38 percent) and New Year’s (22 percent).

This year’s survey is based on input from senior human resource and employee relations executives representing nearly 450 employers in various industries. The survey was administered in September. Bloomberg BNA, owned by business news provider Bloomberg L.P., provides legal, tax and compliance professionals with workflow solutions and other services.

According to the survey, 3 out of 10 businesses (31 percent) will have at least a few employees on duty for one or both holidays. Those employees most likely to be at work on Christmas or New Year’s are public safety and security personnel (at 16 percent of employers) and service and maintenance workers (13 percent).

More than 4 in 5 organizations (83 percent) will provide employees extra compensation for holiday work. Additional forms of payment include time-and-one-half pay (33 percent), double-time pay (22 percent), both extra pay and compensatory time (10 percent), and regular pay in addition to comp time (8 percent).

Survey responses also suggest year-end gifts and bonuses are slated for more than 2 in 5 employees. Forty-one percent of employers will give gifts or bonuses to their workers. Approximately one-third of employers will award holiday bonuses, while 1 in 10 will provide merchandise, gift cards or gift certificates.

Holiday gifts are modest for all employees.

The median estimated expenditure per employee for gifts is $50 and the median cash award $500.

December releases

Speed has become "a major source of competitive advantage." With that in mind, Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman wrote "How Leaders Accelerate Successful Execution."

A description of the book, released this month, says Zenger and Folkman reveal eight essential leadership behaviors shown to improve performance and drive organizational effectiveness.

The authors will help you assess the pace at which you work and how you compare with others in their firm’s extensive database.

"You’ll discover tactics for speeding up critical elements of your day and learn how you can use the eight companion behaviors – including innovation, develop courage, initiate action, and set stretch goals – to help you increase your speed."

Another book scheduled for release just after Christmas also focuses on workplace effectiveness, but in a different way.

Christine Porath is author of "Mastering Civility: A Manifesto for the Workplace."

A publisher’s review says Porath shows why it pays to be civil, and reveals how to enhance effectiveness in the workplace and beyond by mastering civility.

"Incivility is silently chipping away at people, organizations, and our economy," the review says. "Slights, insensitivities, and rude behaviors can cut deeply and hijack focus. Even if people want to perform well, they can’t. Ultimately incivility cuts the bottom line."

Porath combines research with popular culture and fields such as neuroscience, medicine, and psychology to provide managers and employers insight on how to improve workplaces.

To share a thought, a favorite quote or other wisdom about leadership, email Lisa Green at Lead On also appears online as a blog at