Our time off policy is the gift that keeps on giving in terms of media interest and coverage. An interview with Maggie was featured on the front page of the Toronto Star, so we’ve had a flurry of interest and discussion (including a piece on the national edition of Global Television News, video below). We’ve also had many people declare that they’d like to work with us. We’re always on the lookout for incredible people to join our team; please check out the Careers area of our site to learn more.

When we decided to offer uncapped paid time off last year, it wasn’t for public relations value. It was because we wanted to have a time off policy that made sense in the context of our work. We’re knowledge workers, so to be at our best we know that we need to be well-rested and focused. We work hard. That work is exciting and engrossing but it isn’t easy.  We work with our incredible clients in social media marketing, business process transformation, conversation research and analysis and measurement. We spend long hours in front of our laptops, travel many miles on client business (over 300,000 since 2009 according to Tripit) and drive ourselves to be strategic and creative while doing the hard work of applied innovation.

We also eat our own dog food. We counsel clients who are working to scale social media inside their operations to embrace a culture of employee accountability instead of control. I know that I personally would have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning if we didn’t walk the talk ourselves.

Having administered this new policy for the past year, I can honestly say that it works and that our people make use of it weekly and respond with professionalism. Our time off policy has become part of our DNA and I hope more knowledge-based organizations adopt this approach.

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5 Comments

  1. wesley chowen

    I watched Maggie present today and I was overpowered with the content of her presentation.

    Also trying to find details of unlimited paid time off policy, how does it work?

    • Leona Hobbs

      Hi Wesley – I hope you were overpowered in a good way. :-)

      The uncapped paid time off policy boils down to this: we trust our people and acknowledge that the command and control model of managing people does not work anymore. Instead we’ve replaced control with accountability.

      Our uncapped paid time off policy has three simple guiding rules.

      1) You are accountable to yourself and your own health. If you are burned out and need time off you need to take it.
      2) You are accountable to your colleagues. Your time off is not to place undue burden on your colleagues. We do not tolerate the “dump and run”.
      3) You are accountable to your clients. Your time off is not to adversely impact client service.

      We haven’t had anyone abuse our policy or any issues since we put it in place and our people have embraced it.

      Thanks very much for your attention at the AGM yesterday. I know both Maggie and I enjoyed ourselves with the group.

  2. jasingjo

    Hi,
    I’m curious to know what happened to your previously accrued paid time off when you switched over to the new policy.

  3. @jasingjo eveeyone is entitled to the ESA minimums, so that time was still available to them. We typically paid out for accrued but unused minimum vacation time at the end of every fiscal year.

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