My Brother-in-law, several years ago, got a new job. After 20 years in his industry he was offered a mere 2 weeks vacation with no room for negotiation. He is expected to be in a position where he brings strategic direction to his new organization and yet they barely give enough time off for anyone to recharge their batteries.
Strategic thinking is about stepping away from the day to day. If we don’t give enough time for employees to step away how can we expect them to bring fresh focused thinking to our organization.
At TLM, all of our employees are eligible for 3 weeks vacation commencing their first day of employment plus the week between Christmas and New Years and their birthday off. That is how important we believe vacation time is. No one has to wait a year to take time off.
I go to each employee every three months and remind him or her of how much time off they have remaining in their allotment and encourage them to book some vacation time in the next few months. As well, to encourage employees to take their time off, we are open to last minute bookings even if they give only 1 or 2 days notice.
We are competing in a creative industry and burnout is not conducive to creativity. We have found that employees are at their best after vacation time both in terms of creativity and productivity.
After 10 years with the company, an employee is eligible for another week’s holidays. We do tend to find that some people have a hard time fitting this extra week into their schedule. In these cases we have allowed for an extended leave beyond the usual two-week maximum at one time in order to accommodate. Without a doubt, employees who come back from this amount of time off are healthy, happy individuals and raring to go.
All in all, we have learned that amongst many other things, vacation time is very important to an employee’s well being.