Unlimited holiday? Yes please!

by Trenton Moss on 30 October 2014

Webcredible was recently featured in Workplace Savings & Benefits case study discussing the phenomenon of unlimited holiday, so we thought we’d tell you a bit more about why we’re doing it (and no, it’s not because Virgin Holidays are…)

Why go to unlimited holiday?

There were 3 main reasons for going to unlimited holiday:

  1. Empowering people
  2. Attracting talent
  3. Retaining talent

We believe in putting our people in charge of their own work lives, giving them the ability to flex their working schedules to fit with how they work best, and what works best for them. There’s a real win/win that makes this a very exciting prospect so each individual will be working at their optimum.

The prospect of not having to count and manage your holiday days is a real pull. We’ve been recruiting over the past few months and it really has been a great hook for everyone – for parents in particular as this gives them a chance to work around the school calendar with more ease, but also for those who want to travel the world and spend time with their grandma in Cardiff but don’t have the holiday days to do it all.

So, how does unlimited holiday work?

There are just 3 rules about unlimited holiday – firstly, you never talk about unlimited holiday (only kidding)… here they are in order of importance:

  1. Always act in the best interests of Webcredible
  2. Do what you can to make it easier for others to achieve their goals (and never do anything to make it harder)
  3. Do whatever you can to achieve your own goals

This is where it gets interesting – how can you be sure you aren’t being detrimental to your own or anyone else’s goals? It’s all in preparation and the way the goals are set. The goals must be SMART:

  • Specific: you know what you have to achieve and why – specific goals are clear and unambiguous
  • Measurable: you know a goal is measurable if you can answer questions such as how many? How will I know when it’s accomplished?
  • Attainable: they need to be realistic, or your teams will never take holiday at all and that’s not really the point is it!
  • Relevant: don’t have a million goals that aren’t important – choose things that will make a difference. For instance, a Bank Manager’s goal to “Make 50 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches by 2pm.” may be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, and Time-Bound, but probably lacks Relevance.
  • Time-bound: make sure you can answer questions such as when can I do this? What can I do in 6 months from now? What can I do in 6 weeks from now? What can I do today?

SMART goals aren’t enough though – they must be shared throughout the company so everyone knows what everyone is trying to achieve.

OK, so how will it really work in practice?

It’s built around the premise that if you feel you could do with a day of rest and recuperation, then request a day off and come in more refreshed the next day, or on Saturday – whenever you’ll feel more productive. Longer holidays will need to be agreed in advance to allow for planning, but if you want 6 weeks off at the summer to spend with your kids (and you’re demonstrating the above 3 rules) then we’re not going to say no!

We don’t expect people to really take more holiday than they already do, but to be able to take holiday in a way that fits best with their own needs.

Ultimately, it’s not the gimmick of unlimited holidays it’s about adding firmly to our culture that we trust you to do your job.

If you’ve worked in an ‘unlimited holidays’ workplace before, or have other ideas and initiatives to empower staff – we’d love to hear from you please leave a comment below!

Want to know more about what it’s like to work at Webcredible? Check out our jobs page or follow us on twitter to see the fun side of Webcredible as well as the amazing industry insights that we share.

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