This is the second time in as many weeks where I read an article about a company that doesn’t limit the amount of vacation an employee can take.
Business Week Small Biz recently wrote about a tech company that offered a policy and has sustained it as it grew to over 100 employees.
Essentially, the company allows employees to take vacation whenever they want. And most employees end up taking between three and four weeks. More than they would typically get but enough to make them very satisfied. So satisfied in fact, that the company credits the policy for little turnover and highly productive employees.
I’m not sure that the vacation policy alone can be credited for happy and productive employees. I’m guessing it runs deeper and the overall culture is the factor as to why employees are so happy. But the vacation policy is absolutely a factor.
THE REAL WORLD RETAILING TAKEAWAY
Can a retailer turn the HR world upside down by offering limitless vacation?
I found myself intrigued enough by this concept to try to figure out how to apply it to a company I’m working for.
While not a retailer, this company relies on each of its employees to do a specific job because of the nature of the business, and the size of the company. Could a no limit vacation policy really be implemented and successful, without harming the company?
I began by asking myself several questions:
1. Would limitless vacation make employees happier and more productive?
2. Could the company cover a job function if an employee was on vacation?
3. Why couldn’t we implement this as a way to show employees how much we valued them?
4. Was there a competitive edge to be gained by offering limitless vacation?
5. We work hard. Really hard. But, we’re incredibly generous with employees. Do we need to be more generous? What does this buy us as employers?
I’m so intrigued that I’m going to raise the question with the company’s owner. Why couldn’t we do this? Why wouldn’t we do this?
As the Gen Y factor becomes more pronounced, it’s those companies that can differentiate themselves who will win. It doesn’t matter what sector of the market you’re in.
Think about the limitless vacation as it applies to your business. It’s a radical departure, especially for retail. This is one of those experiments I’d love to see someone undertake.
Let me know if you offer limitless vacation and how it’s going as I’d like to share your success with readers.