5 Reasons Why We Switched To Unlimited Vacation

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Brett Farmiloe is the Founder and CEO – and currently CHRO – of a digital marketing company that ranks really well on Google. Search “digital marketing company,” and you’ll see Markitors. Brett has also been a keynote speaker at several state SHRM conferences around the topic of employee engagement.

According to 2015 research from SHRM, less than one percent of employers offer an Unlimited Vacation policy. So, I guess our company is now in the minority.

We recently transitioned from a traditional vacation policy to an Unlimited Vacation policy that pays employees $500 to take vacation.

Why make the switch? Here’s five solid reasons.

Unlimited Vacation Aligns With Our Culture

Trust is at the core of our company. Clients trust us to get them marketing results, and as an employer, we give employees enough freedom to get those results in the way they best see fit.

If we can’t trust you with unlimited vacation, then we can’t trust you to do your job. Extending an Unlimited Vacation benefit to employees was an extension of the message, “Hey, we trust you.”

Improve Employee Retention

One day an employee came to me and told me, “Brett, our vacation policy sucks.”

Our old vacation policy was copied and pasted from another friend’s company in the industry. Clearly, our culture and employees were rejecting this policy as a foreign object. Something needed to change.

Introducing Unlimited Vacation reinforces the feeling of freedom within a workplace. That helps in the short and long-term with retention.

At the very least, we’ll now have a “pre” and “post” employee retention rate to evaluate after implementing Unlimited Vacation.

Strengthen Recruiting Efforts

There’s two ways Unlimited Vacation helps with recruiting. First, the benefit helps attract candidates and improve the acceptance rate for employment offers.

You can see a candidate’s eyes light up when you tell them that we offer Unlimited Vacation – and that we pay you $500 to take vacation. It’s a benefit that helps differentiate us from other employers and communicates what type of environment our company enjoys – one of trust and freedom.

On the flip side, offering Unlimited Vacation is a real gut check when interviewing candidates. My interviewing mindset has now shifted to, “Can I trust this person with Unlimited Vacation?” That question has introduced a whole new level of selectiveness within our hiring process.

Resource Allocation

As CEO of a company with 12 employees, I found myself spending an hour per month tallying up vacation requests, vacation time taken, and calculating the accuracy of accrued vacation balances. I rather spend that time helping grow our company.

We still track vacation days taken to ensure that the minimum amount of time is taken by each employee. But, lifting the burden of carrying over accrued vacation balances helps me sleep a little better each night.

Values Based Benefits

Each benefit we offer at our company must align with one of our core values. Unlimited Vacation aligns very nicely with our value, “You Are Unique.”

Previously we offered a paid day off on your birthday and a traditional vacation package to help celebrate your “uniqueness.” Now, it’s unlimited.

We’ll see how it all works out, but feels right for now.