With around half its workforce made up of parents, e-learning organisation VinciWorks took the decision back in 2017 to offer employees the ability to self-manage their holiday policy, without having to formally book time off work.
Josh Goodhardt, chief executive officer of VinciWorks, says: “The idea is that the more freedom we give employees, the more responsibility we can expect employees to take.”
The policy pre-dates the Covid-19 pandemic, but makes even more sense when people often work remotely, he adds.
In practice, this means employees are responsible for coordinating periods of leave with their colleagues and managers, and for delivering on their objectives. “We don’t want people just turning up and doing eight hours of work every day,” he adds. “We’re looking to get something much more complex out of this, in terms of achieving business objectives. Sometimes a moment of brilliance can be more impactful for the company than six weeks of just getting through the day.”
The move means employees do not have to use up annual leave to look after children during school holiday periods. “There’s no need to pretend to be working full-time while juggling personal needs,” says Goodhardt. “Instead, employees can update their Slack status to ‘Working with kids at home’, so colleagues understand there might be a delayed response. That helps other people on the team manage their expectations too.”
The policy has helped the organisation shift towards more of an outcome rather than input-based culture, says Goodhardt. “The question everyone should be asking is ‘What do I need to get done?’” he says. “Usually that work doesn’t need to be done between 9 and 5 o’clock.”
As well as helping employees cope with holiday periods, and ensuring the organisation can retain staff, this has proved a strong point of attraction when hiring, says Goodhardt. “We talk about work-life balance in our job ads, and this is something that comes up all the time in job interviews,” he says.