Posted in Leadership, Management

No holiday policy…?



The service sector has an uneasy relationship with holidays.  In many parts of Europe paid vacations are a right fixed in law, however we have heard from many psychologists that if you use tell language there is a resistance.

“You must take your holiday by the end of the year!”

You either have the farcical scenario that the office in December is empty or the usual wrangle with payroll as to how much you pay the employee back for unused holiday.

Working life has changed so dramatically no longer the traditional hours of 9.00 to 5.00 at the office.  We may well be emailing a client at the weekend or evening.  Unless we work in a professional practice where you complete time sheets our hours are not normally logged.  What would it be like if there was no holiday logged?

Your initial reaction is chaos, however there is organisational evidence to show it works.

Netflix has an audaciously simple policy – there is no policy!

Salaried employees can take as much time off as they would like, whenever they want to take it.  With approximately 600 employees unbelievably the plan works.  The view taken by Netflix is that provided your manager knows where you are and your work is covered take the holiday.

Steve Swasey, Netflix’s Vice President says:-

“Rules and policies and regulations and stipulations are innovation killers.  People do their best work when they are unencumbered.  If you’re spending a lot of time accounting for the time you’re spending that’s time you’re not innovating.”

The idea that freedom and responsibility are not compatible seems to go against the 21st century view of employment which is valued around self motivation.

Final thought to leave you with – one Netflix executive was quoted as saying

“What’s the problem no holiday policy, we have no dress policy either, no-ones turned up naked yet…!”

Portugal 091


Please contact nuggets for a workshop on motivation –


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