There has been a ton of discussion about the merits of unlimited vacation, offered by companies like Netflix,
The 400 salaried employees are evaluated on their individual performances, not face time. Still, they must be able to balance work and vacation responsibly to get their work done. And they must be able to work without constant supervision.
The more I read about unconventional methods of rewarding and retaining employees, the more the SMG management team discussed it, the clearer it became that offering unlimited paid time off to our employees made a ton of sense. Our business is extremely fast-paced, and while we are relatively small, we are mighty – working with huge organizations like 3M, Ford, CNN, SAP, Thomson Reuters and one of the top three global banks. We’re playing with the “big boys” and our incredible team has to deliver their A+ game – Every. Single. Day. (and sometimes after the day is technically over). Like Netflix, we are not interested in the adequate – our team is made up of exceptional, hard-working individuals because that’s what it takes to be the best.
It was that last part that really underscored the appropriateness of letting people take time when they needed it. Realistically, there is no such thing as a “work/life balance”. I think of it instead as a “work/life blend”. Sometimes your work blends into your life (working late or on weekends, doing what you need to do to deliver quality results). Why shouldn’t your life blend into your work (taking an afternoon off to spend with your kids)?
So, starting in September, Social Media Group began offering all of our employees unlimited time off. We obviously have some guidelines in place (with rewards come responsibility: you’re responsible for your own mental health, your clients and your colleagues), but I feel like it’s really lightened the load in our high-pressure, high-quality, top-notch delivery environment: no more worrying if you have enough vacation time saved to keep yourself healthy. Take time when you and your family need it; you have earned it.
What do you think about this policy? How do you think your organization would manage if a similar policy was instituted where you work?