“Is Paying Employees to Take Vacation a Good Idea?” Upstart

November 1, 2013 Written by  Comments Print

Try Employee Volunteerism
"Working for a startup employees often work around the clock and at times can need more work. While our business was developing, some employees found they didn’t have enough full-time work. In order to provide them with a consistent full-time salary, we decided to pay them to volunteer to make up for the missing hours. Supporting paid volunteer hours has built morale and developed a cool culture."

- Jason Jannati | Co-Founder, greeNEWit

Vacations Demonstrates Responsibility
"At Her Campus, we don't have a set number of vacation days for employees per year. Everyone is expected to work their hardest and do their best possible job at their job, and we leave it up to them how much vacation time they want to take. This way, employees feel control over their own schedules and recognize that they are valued by the results of their work rather than by the hours put in."
- Stephanie Kaplan | Co-Founder, CEO and Editor-in-Chief, Her Campus Media

Balance Is Key
"It's a great model if you balance it with performance measures and guidelines. Employees have to be accountable to perform and should be rewarded when they work hard to get things done quickly. If it's all about performance, they'll hold each other accountable, both on taking too much vacation and on not taking enough."
- Susan Strayer LaMotte | Founder & Principal Consultant, exaqueo

Potentially a Disaster
"Zappos pays certain people to leave after finishing their training program. This makes sense. Paying people to take vacation time does not. Businesses pay for productivity, not for vacations. In the short run, employing this type of policy may be good for publicity and promoting a cool company culture, but it's a disaster in the long run. A great culture can co-exist with structure."

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