1. What Upsides and Downsides do you see to I.B.M.’s Vocation Policy?

IBM’s vocation policy encourages flexibility at the workplace enabling employees to manage both their work and private time effectively. Importantly, the company is able to attract and retain talented workers because it can schedule their work in a liberal manner that enables them to attend to their personal matters whenever they arise. Additionally, this vocation policy reduces the administrative burden of the company by facilitating the monitoring of the leave days that an employee accrues. It also eliminates the cost of keeping records as well as paying for unused vocation (Hart).
IBM’s vacation policy is prone to misinterpretation because it implies that the employees are not allowed to earn extra income during their leave days. This notion is likely to arise when employees are not certain that their supervisors will allow them time off. In addition, IBM’s policy is likely to be abused by employees who would demand excessive days off that fail to match their productivity levels when they are on duty. Also, it is difficult to monitor the performance of employees. For instance, a worker may report to work every day but have little productivity, while another employee may take more days off but reports higher productivity levels.

  1. Does a Flexible Vocation Policy Make More Sense for Some Organizations or Jobs Than Others? If so, What Types of Organizations or Jobs?

Flexible vocation policy favors some jobs more than others. For instance, the policy may apply to jobs where the employees are free to make their own decisions independently, and where they are not entitled employees to overtime. This includes jobs in technology and various freelancing services. On the contrary, flexible vacation policy does not favor jobs with a high employee turnover as well as those that demand predictability and have a lot of shifts.

  1. How Might I.B.M. go About Improving its Flexible Vacation Policy to Help Alleviate Some of the Stress Experienced by Employees Feel Like They Cannot Take Time off?

A flexible vacation policy is based on trust. Therefore, employers have to believe that this policy will not be abused by staff while employees should be certain that they will be given vacation on demand.
Brief Report About the Case
Someone Has To Go: A Tough Lay Off Decision
This article concerns a tough decision to be made by managers of Aero Performance during the 2006-2009 recession to attain a balance between the profitability and survival of the business. One available option for Mr. Mike Martinez, the manager in charge of Technology and Unit Upgrade is to layoff one employee in his department. The option is difficult because all his employees are competent, committed, devoted to the company and perform above average. In addition, they all have demanding responsibilities at home such as providing for their families and taking their children to school.  Nevertheless, this decision has to be taken to address current business’ challenges such as stiff competition, the high cost of operations, and the need for the company to have a diversified pool of competent human resource (Belsom).
Another option is a recommendation by human resource experts involving the implementation of flexible vocational policies that lead to affordable, flexible, and efficient means of operating the business. This policy can be pioneered in the Technology and Unit Upgrade department and then expanded to other departments. It is a delicate balance because only a few companies have implemented the flexible vacation policy due to their susceptibility to abuse. Finally, Aero Performance has to make those hard choices not only to survive the recession but also to remain profitable and address new challenges of increased competition, a slowdown in business, and challenged economic growth.
Works Cited
Hart, Holland. “Unlimited Vacation Policy: Is It Right For Your Company?” Employers’
Lawyers Blog. N.p., 2017. Web. 8 Mar. 2017.
Belsom, Ken. “A Vacation Anytime or Maybe None”. New York Times. N.p., 2007. Web. 8 Mar.