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

August 31, 2018
Best Buy's "Gift of Time" policy is one of the most innovative HR policies that has ever been implemented in a large company. It gives employees the ability to donate some of their vacation time to another employee working at the same company. Yes, the employees have the power to donate vacation time amongst themselves to whoever they see fit.

This policy applies to most of their employees but today we will be focusing on the benefits that the part-time employees have from it. The biggest issue with part-time employees is that they don't enjoy the same rights that full-time employees do. With this policy, they too can get some valuable benefits.

Let's explore those benefits and the potential hiding behind this policy.
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.
They have more freedom

For 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 get a little bit of money and have more free time, either to study, develop their skills, or find better jobs.

This policy further deepens these advantages and 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 as a gift, or for any other reason and allow 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, to allow them to get the necessary rest.

Employees can turn their cash into vacation time

When an older, more experienced colleague wants to help their younger coworkers, they can do this 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.

(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.
The Gift of Time policy gives coworkers the opportunity to be respectful to each other and help them when they need it the most.
Vacations can be given even to employees who've spent their own

If an employee has spent all their paid vacation time, another employee who still has it can give it to them. This means that a person can get yet another vacation fully paid, while the other employee will lose theirs.

The maximum amount of vacation that can be given to another employee is four weeks. This doesn't mean that a single employee can give that much – multiple employees can come together and combine their vacation time.

Since part-time work is not as demanding and exhausting, some employees might not even want to use their vacation. In these situations, they can give it to someone that is in great need of vacation due to some emergency situations or issues in their personal life.

They can use this time to deal with the issues and get their lives in order and return to work 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.

They can get the time to deal with a serious illness

Employees can gift vacations with this policy 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 getting suddenly sick 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 be respectful to each other and help them when they need it the most. Other employees who get the help can easily figure out a way to repay the favor, as long as they have the time to focus on their treatment and getting better.

The Gift of Time policy made by Best Buy 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.
Get our updates
Be the first to read our stories and updates. No spam ever.
Hire better people faster
Try Workstream and start our trial.