The American workforce is such that, one can easily go on vacations and spend time with their family. This culture sometimes may also guarantee a solid work ethic. Yet, many Americans are so invested in their work that they don’t even want to take a vacation. They are afraid of it.
Enter Mark Douglas, CEO of Steelhouse, who has a completely different idea of this. He believes that if a person is given unlimited resources for one particular thing, they wouldn’t know what to do with that.
And then comes his master stroke- $2000 to every employee every year to spend on vacation anywhere, and doing anything- provided that it is not illegal. Now, if they decided to use it on multiple trips or spend it completely on one special trip, it was their issue.
The entire system is built on trust. If an employee pays for their plane tickets and shows it, the company would put it on their tab and get the employee reimbursed. The employee could also use company credit and then get their money reimbursed after coming back, up to the $2000 mark.
There are obviously going to be employees who would rather want the cash instead of a vacation. But the CEO is determined- the employees have to go out and enjoy themselves.
And all that has actually led to better results for the company. In the last three years, only five people have left the company, 3 of whom had reasons completely unrelated to work. The company staff turnover has almost been nil, and people have actually been more productive.
Douglas believes that this is one ‘idea’, for lack of a better term, that can be used up by more companies and firms. It would really lead to increased job efficiency. Also, he realized this when he himself was an employee. The difference between ‘Here’s your vacation’, and ‘Here’s money for you to go somewhere and enjoy, and if you don’t, it goes down the drain’ is where the difference lies between a good company and a bad one.
Douglas finally states that this is something that his employees would do well to learn. Considering that most of his workers are under 30, and haven’t had many employers, it is imperative they realize how to efficiently run a company. Maybe they would be creating their own in the future.
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It is one thing to be a hard taskmaster and expect perfection from the employees. It is a completely different ball game when you give them vacation money and ask them to come back energized.
Which one do you think is better? Perfection, fun, or a mixture of both?
IMAGE CREDIT: bowie15