Results for - When Unlimited Vacation Time Didn't Work, CEO Now Pays His Employees to Take Vacations
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Mark Douglas, CEO of the marketing and advertising company, SteelHouse, gave each of his employees unlimited vacation time to use as they wished, when his company started in 2010. Very few of them actually took advantage of the "endless vacation time". Therefore, to encourage his employees to take time away from the office, he started offering each employee up to $2000 a year to help them enjoy their vacations.
1. If your employer offered you unlimited vacation days, would you spend a lot more time on vacation than you would with a limited amount?
2. If you were the CEO of a company, would you be afraid to give your employees an unlimited amount of vacation time - for fear that no one would ever show up to work?
3. If you work at SteelHouse, the company will pay you $2,000 a year to go anywhere in the world and do anything you want (provided it's not illegal). You can spread it out across multiple trips or blow it all at once; Douglas leaves it up to the team member. "Our culture is really simple," he said. "It's based on trust and ambition." Would you like to work for a company that pays you to take vacation?
4. Typical employers give their workers up to 3 weeks of vacation time each year. If you are currently employed full-time, do you use all of your vacation time each year?
5. The trust goes both ways, Douglas adds. Employees who buy their plane tickets on a Monday will get reimbursed by Tuesday. If the employee can't front the cash, SteelHouse will let them use the company credit card to book the flight. Once people return from their trips, they can submit their expenses for reimbursement up to the $2,000 cap. Do you know of any employers who let their workers charge things like plane tickets (for a personal vacation) on a company credit card?
6. Of course, some people have said they don't need time off and asked for a $2,000 bonus instead, but Douglas is adamant about how the money is used. "I actually want you to go somewhere and enjoy yourself," he said. Would you be more likely to take a nice vacation if your employer would reimburse you for your expenses - up to $2000 per year?
7. And such carefree vacation policies hurt the company? The results have spoken for themselves, Douglas says. In the last three years, only five people out of 250 have left the company, three of whom left for reasons unrelated to the job itself. "We have virtually zero turnover," he said. The company has also found that people who come to work recharged tend to be more productive. Does it surprise you that SteelHouse has nearly zero turnover and it's employees work hard for the company?
8. And as to why he's being so cutting-edge, Douglas says he wants his team members, many of whom are younger than 30 and haven't had many other employers, to one day create companies that enact similarly forward-thinking policies. Do you respect employers who are willing to step out on faith in their employees and try to change the way things are done - for the better?