It’s the beginning of a new year, a time to recover from the holidays and get into the swing of things. It can be stressful: digging out from your inbox, setting goals for you and your team, worrying about how you will accomplish all you’ve set out to do. You might actually start dreaming about your next vacation, never mind the fact that you just had some time off. But even contemplating some time away from your desk can bring anxieties of its own—how many days off do you have again this year? Will you actually be able to take those days? Or will you have a pile of unused time again in December?
To kick off 2017 at CSG, we’ve made a commitment to enhance our employee value proposition by evolving and modernizing our vacation policies. As a result, we’ve begun to offer a progressive new benefit: flexible vacation time. Starting this January, CSG will offer unlimited vacation time to its salaried employees in the US.
For us, this is a pretty bold move. Currently, only 1-2 percent of US employers offer “unlimited” vacation. And while CSG is a medium-sized company, this is a workforce investment of a much larger business. (Larger companies from Netflix to Virgin to LinkedIn are noted for their flexible vacation policies).
So what motivated this change?
For starters, our new vacation policy is reflective of our culture, priorities and the type of talent we want to attract, so it’s important to us to make the leap. But what’s more is that we see benefits for both employees and for our company.
Enabling employees to recharge is good for the bottom-line
Although workers may be daydreaming about their next trip, for a variety of reasons it often never materializes. A study from Glassdoor found that just 25 percent of employees use their full vacation time (with a full 55 percent using less than half of their allotted time off). Whether it’s anxiety about returning to an overflowing inbox or a feeling that they need to “prove themselves,” many end up not using all of their time. But just because workers aren’t taking time away doesn’t mean they don’t need it— one study found that nearly 75 percent of workers say they are stressed at work.
An always-on, overworked culture can be damaging to both the company and its employees. Working more hours doesn’t always add up to better results. In fact, a study from the Society for Human Resource Management found that more than three-quarters of managers agree that employees who take all or most of their vacation time are more productive.
From boosted performance to higher job satisfaction to better employee engagement and retention, the benefits of a more open vacation policy are numerous. Flexible vacation time policies also require less manual adjustments and tracking of exceptions, freeing human resources time for higher-value tasks.
In addition to the recent introduction of our progressive parental leave policy, a flexible approach to vacation time ensures that CSG employees have all the time and flexibility they need to recharge away from the office.
Building trust: investing in the workforce
Implementing a flexible vacation policy conveys a deep level of trust. We’ve made a commitment to invest in our people, and we’re striving to build an environment where employees are trusted and empowered to take ownership of their time and success.
Effective employees should be allowed to get their work done on their own terms. Policies based on trust, not micromanaging, motivate employees and inspire them to stay.
Attracting and retaining talent
As the war for millennial talent will only increase in the years to come, many companies will be taking a fresh look at their offerings. Building a benefits program to attract and retain talent requires a new way of thinking about what employees need to be successful in their careers.
Our new flexible vacation policy allows CSG to stay competitive as an employer in our local markets. Additionally, retaining our employees is essential to our work. Losing talent detracts from our culture, and it also comes with costs— the global average cost per hire for companies of our size averages more than $4,000, so focusing on policies aimed at retention can offer significant cost-savings.
By modernizing our benefits policies, CSG can differentiate in the marketplace with a progressive approach to a key aspect of employees’ lives while attracting and retaining top talent.
Workplace of the future
As we look to 2017, we are excited to be investing in our workforce by building benefit policies on par with some of the top companies in our nation. As our business is hyper-focused on innovation, we are ensuring our internal culture reflects that as well.
I’m looking forward to what the future holds for our team— I’m proud to be part of a great one.