This Company Pays Employees (Twice!) to Go on Vacation: If They Can Prove It
In yesterday’s HR Daily Advisor we began to explore an interview with the iCIMS HR Director Cassie Whitlock concerning the importance of financial wellness among employees. Today we’ll look at another benefit that they offer: twice-paid vacations, so long employees can prove they actually went.
HR Daily Advisor: People who have challenges financially often can’t afford to take some time off and relax. I heard that your company offers a kind of unique vacation benefit. Can you tell me a little bit about that?
Whitlock: Our Paid, Paid Vacation (PPV) benefit encourages employees to live our value “Enjoy Quality of Life.” The name says it all—employees are getting paid twice to take this vacation. First, they are paid regular PTO hours for the time needed to take the vacation. Second, they are reimbursed up to $2,000 for vacation expenses.
With $2,000 per calendar year, Bambooligans in all financial situations are able to enjoy experiences they might never have had without this benefit. Employees are asked to use these funds specifically for experiences as opposed to tangible goods or souvenirs, as the benefit is less about dollars and more about creating memorable experiences with those they love. This benefit literally puts our money where our mouth is, as we believe that disconnecting from work provides a needed relaxation and rejuvenation that benefits both the employee and his or her work upon return.
HR Daily Advisor: Do your employees take advantage of that program, as well? How popular has it been?
Whitlock: As you might imagine, this benefit is wildly popular. We have 100% participation each year. We’ve even noticed that when employees take time off for vacation, instead of taking a week off, they are taking 2 or more weeks for their vacation experience.
One team member shared her story about how the PPV benefit was a blessing to her and her family following the passing of her father. She had promised him she would take his ashes back to his home country, but she didn’t know how she could possibly afford that trip with all the medical bills prior to his passing. Because of our PPV, she was able to go with her mother and brother to fulfill that promise. She also got to spend quality time with family an ocean away.
HR Daily Advisor: Have you been able to measure how successful that program has been?
Whitlock: We measure success based on the quality of the experience employees have. Employees share pictures of their PPV on our internal social media site, and we love hearing the stories and sharing in their experiences.
HR Daily Advisor: What advice would you have for HR managers on how to help their own employees get a hold of their finances?
Whitlock: First, establish what financial wellness means to your organization. Second, take a look at the message you’re sending to your employees with how you spend your benefit dollars. Are you being thoughtful in creating meaningful, long-term benefits, or are you primarily focused on short-term, flashy perks? It’s easier to help your employees focus on wisely managing their finances when you, the company, lead by example.
HR Daily Advisor: What about any advice for employees?
Whitlock: We encourage all employees to become familiar with and participate in all financial benefits offered to them.
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