How letting your employees choose their limits can help you reach new heights
It’s holiday season and it’s not just the sun creating a bit of a drought - offices everywhere have become like a mild desert and those of us left behind often feel the burn. August is always a popular month for people to take their annual leave, often in big chunks, eating heartily into people’s allocations. Child care issues, the weather, and more means people swarm to book off their summer dates like honey to bees.
In an increasingly flexible and dynamic working world, employees’ expectations are changing and freedom as a concept seems to be becoming a familiar buzz word in the industry. It’s become even almost old fashioned for employers to take on the role of a strict parent where dictating things like set working hours or locations to their staff are the norm – but what about when it comes to something like annual leave? And what happens when companies do something very on trend, such as offering their employees an unlimited holiday allocation?
Many big name companies now such as Virgin, Netflix and LinkedIn have not only welcomed with open arms the ‘limitless leave’ policy, giving employees the chance to now control their work/life balance in a more independent and meaningful way, but they have almost become trailblazers in the area. And for them, and others like them, it has been a proven success. Giving people more freedom to choose how much time they spend out of office can equal a much happier workforce and research has shown that adopting this type of policy can even lower stress levels and improve productivity and loyalty to the company.
There have even been some results that show that opening the doors on your leave policy means that people are more likely to spread their leave days across the year, meaning that quieter months like August could eventually become a potential thing of the past.
Clearly there would need to be strict rules around any kind of policy like this, as you would need to ensure that you are still legally complying with regulation and employees are taking at the very least a minimum number of days – currently 5.6 weeks per year for the average full-time employee in the UK.
Obviously there would also be the concern that people might start to take advantage of such a bold but beneficial policy. However, the experience of companies who are already operating in this new way have found that most people don’t actually end up taking more than what their normal allowance would be – except the companies now have the added bonus that employees feel more trusted to manage their own time, building a much better bond with their staff as a result. We already know that generating a culture of trust with your employees is vital in creating a positive, forward thinking and successful business and many companies have already taken the plunge with things like flexible working hours. Flexible holidays won’t work for everyone and it’s definitely not a one size fits all approach but it really does seem that this is the next obvious step for many forward-thinking companies in the UK – particularly those with a keen interest in not only retaining staff but attracting a new type of dedicated, inspired and responsible worker into the fold.
If you are interested in finding out more about flexible benefits and improving your employees’ experiences, call Innecto on 020 3457 0894 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.