Unlimited vacation time? Really???

Image by Michael Giuffrida about TeamsThere is a trend in small businesses to offer employees unlimited vacation time.  The reality is that for many small businesses, they would essentially do this for their good employees anyway.  While there is usually a policy that indicates how many days or weeks an employee would get, if you have employees who are going above and beyond, or who consistently work extra hours to make sure the company gets what they need to service their customers, a good leader will hardly ever say no to a time off request for these people.  One of the ways to keep a good employee working hard is to let them know that their effort is recognized and appreciated. If someone is putting in that extra effort only to be told “no” when they want to take a vacation with their family because they haven’t accrued enough time, the extra effort will not last long.

The key to an “unlimited” vacation time policy is having good leaders.  If you set clear goals for your employees which if achieved will bring the company to where they need to be, all you need to do is make sure that the goals are being reached.  If they are, there is no reason to decline a time off request, regardless of how much other time off they have had.  If you do not have consistent leadership however, this type of policy can lead to anger and bitterness from your star employees as they will find themselves picking up the slack from the lesser contributing employees who may abuse the policy.

As this can be a slippery slope that can go either way for a company, be sure to have a good leadership team in place with a clear system for goal setting and measurement.  These tools can help you build a winning culture at your organization where employees thrive and so does your bottom line.

Michael Giuffrida from Southington CT has been operating businesses since 1997.  He is an experienced entrepreneur in business management, profitable growth, business valuation, mergers and acquisitions, and information technology managed services.

6 thoughts on “Unlimited vacation time? Really???

  • This is sooo true. People need to be recognized for their efforts and not always in a monetary way. We all need a pat on the back and a special “reward” for our efforts. I have seen employees leave a well-paying job because there was a lack of appreciation no matter how hard they worked….myself included.

  • Love this idea. Most of us work remotely at some level during our vacations anyhow, so show employees you trust and value them by giving them the freedom to achieve the business goals for their role without being chained to a desk.

  • We currently have this policy in place and it certainly has given me a new perspective on how to handle my vacation time. As opposed to feeling I need to use it each year I now have the feeling that I am free to take the time as I need it rather than use it because it’s there.

  • Love this discussion. Treat your people like the professionals you expect them to be. I have watched many people work “extra” hours doing nothing productive, so you can mandate the time they work but you can’t mandate their productivity.

  • A slippery slope indeed! This type of policy really only works if everyone respects employees’ rights to a minimum number of days off. While it’s meant to allow greater flexibility (get your work done and then enjoy your life), it can quickly become a situation where there is never an opportunity to take any time off.

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