How Unlimited Annual Leave Has Unlimited Benefits
4th October 2021
If so, how could this be solved? Possibly, by offering unlimited annual leave. On the surface, it sounds like madness, giving employees no limit on the amount of time off they can take. What if they take 4 months off? Then what? However, the truth isn’t as terrible as it may seem because some companies have done this, and they are still operating, thriving even. Companies such as:
- Github – They’ve implemented this and have had great success as a result. They currently have a 4-star rating on Glassdoor.
- Kronos – They saw an uptick in employee engagement and financial results as a result of implementing this tactic.
- Netflix – They are arguably the most famous company to do this and could be seen as the pioneers, starting off this trend in 2004. Since 2011, their stock price has grown over 1,000% to the year 2021.
So, the questions you’re probably asking are: What are the benefits, and how can I do this?
The key benefits of unlimited vacation are:
- A culture that encourages a healthy work/life balance
- More productive employees
- Happier employees
- A more attractive employer brand
- Higher profits/revenues
- Better customer acquisition and retention
In a nutshell, if done right, unlimited annual leave really can have unlimited benefits. Some things to be mindful of when trying to emulate the aforementioned companies are:
Setting out and sticking to clear expectations – Obviously, if everyone were to simply jet off on holiday at the same time, this type of annual leave policy wouldn’t work. Ensuring that employees are expected to clearly communicate their annual leave plans to colleagues and line managers as far in advance as possible can aid the process.
Sticking to a balance between work and life – It can be easy to slip into a ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality if you can have unlimited annual leave. This can create an unhealthy ‘pendulum’ type effect where someone works themselves to burnout before taking a 3-week holiday to recover and repeating the process. The policy must be a part of the healthy culture, not a vehicle to recover from an unhealthy one.
Iteration is mandatory – Nothing remains the same forever. Over time, you will need to make changes to this policy to respond to either internal or external changes in circumstances. This won’t be a ‘do it and leave it alone’ type tactic.
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