How Kronos Benefitted from Launching an Unlimited Vacation Policy

via Harvard Business Review

At first I thought Millennials would be the most enthusiastic about an open vacation policy. But in fact employees in their thirties and forties with school-age children seem to be the biggest beneficiaries. In the past they struggled to figure out how to spread vacation time over various school holidays. Now they feel free to take more time, reducing this strain.

…our core business is providing workforce management software, and one of the things our product does is track and manage vacation accruals. If every company shifted to an open vacation policy, wouldn’t one of the benefits of our product disappear? Not if open vacation was deployed the right way. That we track our employees’ time off is a major reason our new policy works. If you don’t track it, how else will you know whether people are taking enough time to refresh and recharge, and whether managers are setting a poor example or unfairly managing time off? Tracking enables transparency and better communication, and if it’s done properly, it will build even more trust and loyalty among your employees.

Right now unlimited vacation for all employees is offered at fewer than one in 20 U.S. companies. There’s a reason for that. Not every organization has the combination of high-performing employees, passionate concern for work/life balance, and deep trust in its people necessary to make this kind of system work. I feel very fortunate to lead a company that does.

Care for and trust in your employees.

I used to not take holidays except when absolutely necessary, e.g. other half made his twice yearly trip back to Singapore and we spending time together meant taking leave as the job was so hectic we couldn’t spend time together otherwise. That being said, I did forgo all overtime leave when leaving the company as there was simply no time to use it up.

Tired was an understatement.

I think that employees simply want a company that care for them, and in turn, they will care for the company.

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