More and more the amount of vacation time offered by a prospective employer has been coming up in conversation with my peers. This is the single-most important criteria by which a position is accepted or rejected by young people in today’s employment marketplace. This post is going to be a bit different than most I’ve done in the past. It’s not the normal travel tips or destination highlights. That’s because it is different! But oh so relevant. I’m not in the business of helping companies become more competitive in recruiting new hires. I do think I have a thing or two to share that these businesses may find useful.
Many large companies offer an incremental raise each year or every couple years–maybe say, 25 cents an hour as seniority is gained. But what if employees could choose between a 25 cent raise and an extra week of vacation time for that year? When added up, the week off would actually save the company money over the hourly raise, but for some reason this alternate is resisted by what we call “corporate America”.
I get it, you can’t have employees taking too much time off per year. Productivity and continuity could suffer and blah blah blah. But honestly? Studies show that taking vacation time to recharge is one of the most important things when it comes to maintaining and even increasing productivity. I don’t think employers realize what a benefit this could be to them.
So What Has Changed?
Back in “the day”, employees wanted more money–more dough to buy that new car, flat screen TV, or to pay bills and get ahead. But today’s workforce was raised on the ideal that following a passion and living a happy and fulfilling life is more important than moving up on the corporate ladder. Not being increasingly successful and a rock solid workhorse. We’re taught that the experiential leads to happiness, not the material possessions that were once striven for by the young workforce. Taking trips, making memories, and living an exciting life is what is remembered on the deathbed.
It’s my firm belief that many companies haven’t fully realized this new mindset. Elementary school led us more in the way of following our dreams and not spending our days trudging along at work just to make ends meet. The old “American dream” of the 9-5 desk job is no longer. But rather, living in an RV traveling the world while working from the road or something equally as random is the new end game.
So why? Why don’t companies take this opportunity to not only save themselves some money and move toward a more flexible office job arrangement? Maybe it’s habit or maybe it’s “company policy”, but Google and Facebook have already paved the way, so I suggest all you brick and mortar traditionalists follow suit, STAT!
CAITLYN WITHOUT A COMPASS