How Paystone Implemented an Unlimited Vacation Policy
With fall right around the corner, many of us have just experienced one of the busiest summers of our lives.
Over the past couple of years, we’ve accumulated a fear of missing out on experiences, traveling and spending more quality time with loved ones.
This summer, we have been able to experience a bit more normality. At times, we may have even felt the rush of our social calendars being booked for weeks on end.
We’re all so different, and our vacation should be too.
Whether you're planning a staycation, your next long weekend road trip, a trip to visit family, or planning a month-long trip to a continent far-far away, we’ve all seen the importance of taking the time away from work to recharge your batteries and unglue your eyes from a screen.
We are all so different, so unique. The way we choose to relax and disconnect from work should be too.
Why fit into a mold?
These are the questions that lead us to introducing an unlimited vacation policy at Paystone in January 2022.
Stepping away from the conventional
From an employee’s perspective, understanding how to use an unlimited vacation policy may be tricky.
“How does an unlimited vacation policy work?”
“What defines unlimited”
“How much PTO is too much PTO?”
These questions are all valid, especially when shifting to a less conventional way of thinking. Many companies have only started adopting this vacation philosophy over the last decade.
Being the curious and agile organization that we are, we’ve fully embarked on a journey to focus on a people-first approach for our employees, making decisions by prioritizing what our people love the most.
We wanted to stay ahead and continue creating work arrangements at Paystone that are as flexible and enjoyable as possible. An integral part of doing this was to review our vacation policy.
Paystone’s approach means that each one of our employees has an unlimited number of days they may request to take off during our calendar year.
The typical vacation “bank” has no maximum, and can go as high as the number of approved vacation days - which can be unique to each individual, based on the amount of time away from work they need.
Simply put, there is no cap, but there is a minimum. This ensures that no one ends up taking less time than they would under a limited vacation policy.
A culture of candor and trust
A concern that comes along with rolling out this policy is that employees may feel guilty to request time off, knowing that they have no cap. They may feel uncertainty in terms of what is right or wrong, and this may eventually lead to hesitation about taking more time than they would have under a limited vacation policy, which is the opposite effect we aim to achieve.
This is why we have decided to continue tracking vacation time. We want to ensure that we are able to do mid-year check-ins on vacation usage with our leaders. This allows us to flag any people who have yet to take or have taken too little time off.
In fact, from January 2022 to date, 88% of our employees have used or scheduled their unlimited vacation time to be taken by the end of the year.
It’s without saying that introducing such a policy can’t be rolled out without trust in our people. We trust that each person’s intuition and moral compass will point them in the correct direction.
Paystone believes in empowering employees and giving them the freedom to make responsible decisions that are mutually beneficial for themselves, their colleagues and the overall organization.
By doing so, employees understand that they can be autonomous and accountable for their actions.
This creates a ripple effect founded on trust. The more employees are inspired to act with sound, reasonable and impactful decisions about their time off; the more leadership will feel positive in offering more and more freedom.
Communication, communication, communication
It all starts with our employees pondering about the period they have planned to take off.
“Will I be leaving my colleagues and leader in a very difficult position?”
“Is a backup available to cover my clients/workload during my time away?”
“Does my time off coincide with many colleagues’ own vacation?”
Through Sapling, our HRIS, we offer a company-wide calendar where every member of our team can view planned vacation time to ensure it doesn’t coincide with a large number of collaborators and colleagues.
After this period of self-reflection, we ask that employees have a conversation with their leader and team at least two weeks prior to the start of their time off. Once these steps are completed, their leader will approve it in Sapling.
This ensures that there is ample amount of time to notify each member of the team when it comes to backup considerations. This allows employees to have a worry-free and beneficial time away.
Time off is essential to health and happiness
To deliver the best work, we need happy and healthy people. Taking time off is integral to self-fulfillment and to create a positive impact on individual, team and organization objectives and key results.
As explained in our blog on social connection, time off is imperative to mental health. Doctor’s orders!
Time away should be taken before your mind and body indicate that you are drained.
So, listen to your cues and take some time for your mind and soul. You deserve it!
Would an unlimited vacation policy fit your lifestyle? Then come work with us at Paystone! Check out our open positions here.