Results-oriented workplaces, in which employee productivity is measured in terms of milestones rather than hours worked, are gaining in popularity: Large companies like Netflix and IBM offer many of their employees unlimited time off, judging employee output only on the basis of work performed.
For most job applicants, the opportunity to work somewhere that offers unlimited time off, rather than a standard two-or-three week vacation period, can be a huge incentive.
For human resources professionals, unlimited vacation time policies can be a great tool for recruiting top applicants—but they may also be a hassle to keep track of. Here’s how to manage an effective program:
- Create a policy based on employees’ roles within the company. It may not be feasible to offer unlimited time off to everyone within your company: For instance, you’ll likely want your customer service representatives to immediately respond to customer concerns, which means that their job duties cannot be handled on a more flexible schedule. In contrast, the flexible-schedule policy may work well for sales staff, who will simply be asked to meet a set monthly sales quota.
- Track department calendars carefully. Require employees to give substantial advance notice when they plan to be away. The employee should also provide contact information and tell the company how often he plans to check in on assignments while out of town, if at all. His manager is responsible for making sure that he will be able to meet the work milestones that have been set for him.
- Train employees to take on multiple roles. Months in advance of an employee’s scheduled trip, work with his manager to identify other staff members who can take over the tasks that he generally performs. If the fill-in needs training in order to take on the work, coordinate with the manager to come up with a comprehensive training program, using both in-person training and e-learning as necessary.