Perhaps the best way to improve performance in the workplace is by increasing employee satisfaction. In Canada, several employers, especially small tech companies, are rewarding their hard-working employees with unlimited paid vacations. It is their belief that achieving a proper work/life balance for their employees is the key to optimizing not only output, but also recruitment and retention.
Aron Ain, the CEO of Kronos (a producer of workplace management software) has seen great improvements in his company after launching an unlimited paid vacation policy. When asked by Inc.com why he decided to enforce such policy, he replied with a sensible answer:
“Besides being a recruiting tool, the old standard of two weeks off as a new hire, four weeks off after 10 years of service etc. just doesn't make much sense anymore. In a world where technology has made many jobs 24/7, who's to say when someone is really on vacation? Blurry lines call for new vision.”
Several Canadian employers will attest to the benefits of the policy. One company in Vancouver called BuildDirect offered all of its 300 employees (who are salaried) unlimited paid vacation days since the nature of their work no longer required strict 9-to-5 hours. For the company heads, it just didn’t make sense for strict annual leave policies to be required either.
Another company in Kitchener called Miovision also brought in an unlimited paid vacation policy to establish employer-employee trust and to encourage workers to manage their own times responsibly.
“Ultimately, we are all passionate about what we do and are hard-working professionals,” said Miovision’s CEO Kurtis McBride. “We just decided we didn’t need to babysit the staff. They are quite capable of deciding how much time they need, while still getting the work done.”
It is that sense of trust that makes these companies so appealing to work for. Sure, there are some pitfalls to enforcing unlimited paid vacations. But like any policy, it can always be improved with time and experience.