I recently had the pleasure to spend a full day with a smaller size company that is embarking on massive transformation and new business model innovation. Leadership consists of the 3rd generation family brothers. The company is a leader in its niches (60-90% share), present in roughly 80 countries and employ about 2,000 people.
During the happy hour after the workshop, I was speaking to one of the employees about all the amazing things to do here in NYC and asked if he was going to have some time to enjoy the city? Surprisingly he told me that he, as well as most of his Director colleagues, were leaving later that Friday as they had to get up early Saturday to go to work.
Being curious I learned that the company had decided to allow their staff to take 11 straight days off during the upcoming holiday. This was radical! I would have never expected this from a traditional, 3rd generation, US-based firm.
I had to learn more…
“Wow. Tell me more about this. How did this start and how do you manage it?”; I asked.
The customer smiled. He shared how he appreciated this. They had had something like this for many years but had abandoned it during a time of rapid growth, but had recently reinstated it. Being a father of a young family it allowed him down-time to really connect with his kids and wife. It felt like a true recharge to him! He elaborated and said that it was one of the elements that really motivated him and his colleagues to go the extra mile, work hard and put in the weekends and extra hours to make up for lost time.
Conclusion: I came away feeling like I’d discovered a great new opportunity for another company perk that would increase employee engagement and drive higher productivity.