We are very lucky at Adoptt because part of our very generous benefits package is unlimited holiday.
When I met with our CEO, Steven Willert, to discuss the role at Adoptt, he laid out what each employee gets as part of the company package. I was genuinely flabbergasted at just how well this start-up looks after its employees.
When unlimited holiday was mentioned I did what most people would do I suspect, I questioned it. I said to Steven: “What does that mean exactly, unlimited holiday?” He said: “It means you can take unlimited holiday, you take what you need to unwind, you take what you need for chores like your car service, health appointments for family, sporting events and so on. Whatever you need it for, you take it”.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I found this to be a massive sign of respect, a sign that employees are trusted to get their job done, and as such are rewarded.
The trust given to the employee, you could argue, is somewhat like having stock that hasn’t vested. If you are out of line or misrepresent the company on a continual basis, it’s likely that you will be exited and your stock will go with it. I see this working the same if you have unlimited holiday – if you abuse the system and do little to push the company forward, your unlimited allowance would be taken away, which I think is fair.
In my last job I had built up 28 days of annual holiday, partly due to my tenure having gained extra days after various service milestones. I always found that come August/September I’d have a handful of days left which I would hang onto because I simply didn’t know when I might need them or if something might crop up between summer and the end of the year. As a result, I would turn down offers to take a day off from friends and family, or household chores would build up because I didn’t want to use all my leave, only to find I was cornered if something important came up. At the end of the year it would then be a race to book the remaining days before they were lost, or I simply wouldn’t use them as I had no real reason or plans to take them.
Adoptt have really gone to town on the health and wellbeing front with its employees. Part of my induction with our Chief People Officer was a good 30 minutes discussion around the benefits package I receive and the importance of making good and fair use of it. I was effectively being asked to take good care of myself and to make sure I take time away from work to focus on myself and my family. This may only seem a small thing for some, but for me it’s inspiring. It tells me the company cares, that as a group of individuals we are the pride and joy of the company and need to take a break so as not to burn out, so we can give it our all. I can see myself going the extra mile more frequently for a company willing to do the same for me. This means if I need to work late or start early I’ll do it, not because I feel I’m held at ransom with an unlimited holiday benefit but because the company is willing to look after me, so I want to do the same.
Adoptt is a start-up which makes this, in my view, even more incredible, a company so young which is actually, well, grown up!
This approach makes me think of a couple of Richard Branson’s quotes:
… “I have always believed that the way you treat your employees is the way they will treat your customers”
… “Respect is how to treat everyone, not just those you want to impress”.
Could you see your organisation implementing unlimited holiday for its employees?