Does the concept of "Unlimited Vacation" increase productivity and attract talented employees ?
I've read about it here, specifically:
Unlimited vacation fosters productivity and loyalty because it favors results over input. “We don’t judge employees based on the number of lines of code they write, but instead on the impact their innovative ideas have on our users,” he says. “If we trust employees to make the right decisions with the time they spend at work in pursuit of our aggressive goals, we can trust them to make responsible decisions about when they choose to take time off of work.”Is that article a good summation of the process, or is it more hype-than-fact?
I work at The Motley Fool, so I can share what I've seen with you.
The concept of 'unlimited vacation' by itself does not attract Talented employees. Talented employees are attracted to other talented employees. So how do you attract talent? Here at The Motley Fool, we do the following:
The list goes on.
These are all things that attract talent. As far as increasing productivity, here's what I've personally experienced with our vacation policy (or lack thereof):
I can't speak directly to the Human Resources aspect (and I'm certainly not speaking for The Motley Fool), but I imagine that a vacation policy like the Fool's would have the following advantages:
NB : I don't speak for The Motley Fool. What I'm saying is my own experience and my own opinions.
Sadly, I am yet to see one company where data shows that people take any more vacation time or are any more productive. It also is all hype and does not improve recruiting.
There is a HUGE difference from perception and data shows.
Americans just don't know how to unwind and take proper time off. We are known for it worldwide.
I spoke yesterday to a CEO friend of mine who has built a 150 person tech company and has deployed "unlimited" vacation policy. He is smart, so he put a lot of metrics in place. When I asked him about how His answer to me was: "no change in vacation utilization".
Add use of Agile on top, which is one of the reasons for such a high burnout in people, and you have the most volatile mix.
My take - you will just have to make people take time off (in my current company I will pester you until I see you take at least 10 biz days off straight). Oh and Agile has to be reigned in, before it turns into "points fetish".