Unlimited PTO Isn’t BS: Treating Staff Like Adults Makes Your Company Better
• March 21, 2019
This morning, this tweet about Personal Time Off (PTO)—or lack thereof by employers—by Anil Dash caught our eye. He was agreeing with another Tweeter who was commenting on a four-year-old Washington Post article claiming unlimited PTO is only put into practice because companies view it as a financial advantage rather than an altruistic perk. Said, Dash, “Yup, it’s a scam. This is why we always talk about ‘all benefits, no perks.’”
We’re very proud of the “treat staff like adults” foundation upon which our CLEVER culture is built. That’s where we start, and we foster that atmosphere by being open and transparent, top down. We don’t need to draft 15-point corporate manifestos or to have posters up in conference rooms reminding us how to “behave” as employees. We’re virtual anyway so there would be nowhere to post them. (And let’s not forget, free meals/snacks at work aren’t a perk. They are designed to keep employees at work and working.)
It’s because we are virtual that we make a more concerted effort than most “brick and mortar” companies to ensure we all work and communicate together effectively. Of course we have policies and processes in place to support these efforts, but our award-winning culture is what draws top candidates to us and keeps them here (we have the retention stats to back this up).
That’s why the PTO Tweet caught our attention. Our CEO, Cat Lincoln, tweeted her thoughts about that, which we also share here.
Just because you’re doing it wrong doesn’t make it suck. Sure plenty of companies talk about but don’t support it. WE DO. As the CEO and person probably most concerned with our P&L, I LOVE that we can take it off the books B/c it LETS US BE GENEROUS AND FLEXIBLE.
As a manager of humans, especially at company comprised of MANY mothers and caretakers, I’m proud every time I can say, “Absolutely take care of your sick kid, definitely go to that playoff game, no worries.
We’ll do the call tomorrow, I hope the dr/lawyer/electrician has good news.” As a LEADER of A-players and HUMANS I’m delighted when someone on our team takes two weeks explore to South America or Australia, or a long weekend every week of July to
Spend time at the family beach house, or 10 days to drive to Burning Man. Our team is amazing and tries to work half days and call in from travel, and unlimited time off lets us respond to these high performers with, “Why don’t you take the whole day and enjoy it?!
Which we DO because it’s our culture and we’ve structured our 10-year-old, successful, profitable, award-winning business to support it, including with unlimited time off. #agencylife #womenleaders #girlboss #valuesbasedleadership #womenincharge #womenwholead
We didn’t institute this policy to save money on our bottom line. We made other choices to do that—like remaining virtual so we could hire the best people no matter where they lived. We did it to allow our amazing employees the time to live full, rich, vibrant lives. That makes them happier as people, and us better as a company.