Ran into this little gem by Bart Lorang (CEO of Full Contact):
The gist: At Full Contact, Bart gives each employee that goes on a real vacation (must disconnect, can’t work on vacation) an extra $7,500 .
In the US, and especially in Tech, employees are often reluctant to go on vacation due to a combination of the hero syndrome and the costs of a nice vacation.
This is bad for them and bad for the company: burned out employees, natural creation of single point of failure, etc.
So Bart created a REAL incentive to go on a REAL vacation.
I’ve found the connection that he draws between an informal “no vacation” culture and the formation of single points of failure particularly interesting. The opposite connection, between a “full vacation” culture and other activities that improve the company (empowering direct reports to make more decisions, better code documentation, better knowledge mgmt, etc.) is even more powerful.
It’s a real problem with a substantial down-side, but also a missed up-side. I’m excited to see some creative innovation in addressing it by trying to get the incentive structure right.
What innovative solutions does your company use to address this issue?