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Are Unlimited Vacation Days Coming?

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LinkedIn, Virgin Group, and Netflix have decided that an unlimited vacation policy is the only policy their businesses need when it comes to time off. It turns out that less than 1% of the companies in the U.S. have unlimited vacation policies. So what do Jeff Weiner, Richard Branson, and Reed Hastings know that we don’t?

Put people first. Customers will follow. So will profits.

These companies hire for the “why.” Their people have attitude, or passion, for what they do. Each day these people work they toward a common goal. They feel compelled to do a great job and have a certain camaraderie that shows through to the clients. The clients see there’s something ‘special’ about how they are being treated, and the word spreads. Employees and customers become advocates.

A Different Environment That Netflix Understood

Unlimited vacation days came about when employees at Netflix started talking about how time management in the digital age had changed the way they worked. Emails in off hours. Working nights or weekends. They got paid for doing work that wasn’t necessarily done in the office.

And… that’s when it clicked for Netflix. They would pay for productivity, not time spent at the office. Branson heard about it and thought it sounded like a good idea. The Virgin Group followed suit. This policy caused people to recharge their batteries so that they could come back refreshed, creative, and productive.

Will We Get There?

The businesses like LinkedIn, Virgin Group, and Netflix can go on making policies that seem outrageous to the rest of the world because their people get so much joy from their jobs that they won’t want to stay away. Are you coming from the same place?

Now is the time to understand that, with the Baby Boomers retiring, revisiting the “why” of the organization makes sense. If it has gotten fuzzy, fix it. People will become jazzed about “why” they want to do business with you. You’ll create an attitude change and eventually your own advocates. And then, you too, can establish your own unlimited vacation policy.

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