I was interested to read this week…
that Sir Richard Branson has taken the decision to offer 170 of his staff UNLIMITED HOLIDAY, and if it turns out to be a success, he will extend the program to all of his employees.
WHY would he do that?
It’s caused quite a discussion amongst my business friends with comments like “That’s crazy”, “How can you run a business like that?”, “They’ll be no one at work”, “A business can’t afford to do it”
What do you think?
For what it’s worth, here’s what I think…
Richard Branson is far from being a fool. I’m sure we can agree on that. If you’re not familiar, Google him.
- He’s a Billionaire
- He’s pioneering space travel for the masses with Virgin Galactic
- This month he’s been voted Britain’s most admired business leader over the past five decades. 50 years!
I’ve had the pleasure of listening to him talk live at an event in London a couple of years ago and believe me when I say – You can be nothing but inspired by him when he shares his wisdom.
Sad as it may seem, the question of “WHY would he do that?” kept me awake that night. And then I remember having read a book by Daniel Pink called DRIVE. It’s available on Amazon if you’re interested.
Here’s the answer that I would offer up… as the reason for Sir Richard making the decision to offer his employees unlimited holiday and which Daniel, in his book explains.
“The secret to high performance and satisfaction in today’s world is the deep human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves in the world.”
Daniel interviewed companies that are already incorporating this methodology and new approach to employee motivation.
They treat employees not only as adults, but empower them in such a way that the employee can be at their most creative, innovative and contributory in achieving the objectives of the business.
In fact, these company’s have little need for HR red tape and are some of the most successful in terms of exponential growth and profit.
What you’ll be surprised to discover is that this kind of employee will not in fact take any more holiday than they normally would because they enjoy their work situation far more, are more committed to their colleagues and the business in general. (They are not in a rush to get away from work because they don’t enjoy it and only there for the money)
The result is that productivity is much higher for the time they are working, which flows through to greater profitability for the business.
The real question (in fact LESSON) here
…is NOT “How can Sir Richard afford to offer his employees unlimited holiday” BUT “HOW does he recruit and develop employees who he VALUES enough to be able to afford to offer them unlimited holidays…and how can you too?”
We’ll be sharing the answer to that in a forthcoming live one-day workshop “How to develop extraordinary employees” being held in Nottingham, UK in October 2014. (Date to be confirmed)
If you’d like to receive advance notice of the workshop, email firstname.lastname@example.org with LET ME KNOW THE DATE in the subject line.
In the meantime, we would love to hear YOUR thoughts and comments below of what you think to Sir Richard’s idea of giving employees unlimited holiday.
Have a super productive week ahead and always strive to be the very best version of yourself.
P.S. You can read the BBC business news article here