How The LA Newspaper Group Should Have Handled Its Vacation Announcement

Last Sunday the Los Angeles Newspaper Group’s no-vacation-accrual policy went into effect. At least until July 4, no employees at the Los Angeles Daily News and other papers in the group will accrue any new vacation time. The memo announcing the cutback was sent out Friday and took effect Sunday, a move Workforce’s John Hollon says was a bad, bad idea.
Why’s that? Find out after the jump.

He writes:

I’ve worked for a lot of different employers, and even the most stingy and miserly of the bunch had some sort of reasonable vacation policy. And although it is not out of line for an organization to change or make a vacation policy more restrictive, I’ve never, ever heard of a company doing it in the middle of the year.
Smart organizations work to carefully manage highly negative news like this, generally giving workers plenty of advance warning, guidance and counsel from management about exactly why it is necessary. Getting in front of the issue and talking it through can help a company get people to buy in to the larger business need for doing something like this, even if they don’t personally agree with it.

Furthermore, he cautions that though vacation time “isn’t a God-given right,” about half of employees polled in studies typically choose more time off rather than more money, all other things being equal. And vacation time is a benefit that everyone looks at when considering a job—perhaps because it’s much more visible than a 401(k) match or an EAP, neither of which are very “sexy” topics.
Plus, Hollon says, “any manager worth his salt knows that workers are no different from any other animal on this planet. They need time off the job to rest, refresh and rejuvenate. Good companies recognize this basic human need and plan for it…”
How should the Los Angeles Newspaper Group have handled this situation differently? Let’s hear about it in the comments.