June Perk-Me-Up: Once-in-a Lifetime Vacation

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by viperk's , last updated on

viperks1.jpgDays pass and seasons change, but our dedication to innovative employee engagement remains unwavering. At viperks, we have witnessed employee solutions that push the boundaries of creativity. Each month we'll highlight one unique employee engagement idea as our "Perk-Me-Up of the Month." Think of it as a free monthly subscription to the best corporate perks around.

We all need a break, and we all want to get away.

Many people get two weeks of vacation a year, and after setting aside a few days here and there to tend to personal matters or take some time off around the holidays, there's not much left to take a "real" vacation.

Luckily, many forward-thinking companies are realizing this and taking active steps to ensure that their people do take time off --- to gain life-enriching experiences, or simply to recharge their batteries.

Cisco offers flexible work and time-off practices, as well as leaves of absence for adoption, maternity, education, military, family, and disaster-relief support. At Evernote, employees receive a $1,000 spending bonus if they take at least one week off at a time.

Other companies, such as CarMax, offer "unlimited" vacation policies that allow employees to take off as much time as they'd like, providing that they're getting their jobs done, of course.

But, as Kickstarter found out, unlimited vacation policies can actually encouraged employees not to go on vacation. Why? Supervisors might frown upon on people who take extended vacation time, coworkers sometimes use an employee's extended absence to their advantage, and many firms have an unspoken rule that basically says, if you're going to take an extended vacation, you'll be expected to put in long hours in the office for the weeks preceding and following the vacation.

So if unlimited vacation policies don't help employees actually use their time off, what's an employer to do?

Be like The Godfather and give them an offer they can't refuse!

Instead of simply offering undetermined amounts of time off with no real guidelines, encourage employees to go out and experience a once-in-a-lifetime vacation --- and give them the means to do it.

LoadSpring has a very unique vacation policy, called CultureSpring, and it has been amazingly beneficial, both to the company and it's employees.

The company's website describes CultureSpring as follows: "We encourage our employees to broaden their insights in all ways ... including visiting other cultures outside the United States. To that end, CultureSpring is an innovative program that provides employees who have been with the company over one year a reimbursement of up to $4,000 plus one bonus week of vacation, just for traveling abroad. By having our employees travel abroad, we benefit from their experiences and cultural development, while simultaneously allowing them to enjoy themselves along the way! Our employees have experienced CultureSpring in locations such as Italy, France, Mexico, New Zealand, Costa Rica and even a European Cruise, just to name a few!"

FullContact is another company that encourages its employees to  go on vacations. Once a year, employees can take a paid vacation, and the company kicks in an extra $7,500 to use on the paid vacation. There is a catch, however, employees must be off the grid and not do any work, not even check emails.

Implementing a program like this will not only ensure your employees don't get burned out, it will also connect them to the company. Who wouldn't be motivated to work hard for an organization that gave them a highly-memorable travel experience that they never would have taken on their own?

Employee retention is just one benefit. Others include more focused and less stressed employees and higher levels of employee motivation and satisfaction.

Remember, employees that feel appreciated are loyal and productive. Loyal and productive employees are awesome employees!

At viperks, we aim to clean up any shortcomings you're experiencing with employee engagement. We offer your staff real perks, implementing a discount and appreciation program that drives employee happiness and productivity in the workplace. The result? You enjoy bottom-line results reflecting enhanced employee engagement.

Want to learn more about how you can help your employees be happier and more productive? We're here to talk.

Topics: Perk-Me-Up of the Month

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Eric Golubitsky

Eric brings 18+ years of entrepreneurial experience. Eric founded S.M.I.L.E. Inc. in 1998, which was a Consumer Electronic Pro Top 100 home automation provider and was recognized as the #1 fastest growing company in NE Ohio by CWRU Weatherhead School of Management in 2003. As an Ernst & Young "Entrepreneur of the Year" finalist in 2005, Eric's accomplishments have been recognized multiple times including the Consumer Electronics Association's national "Mark of Excellence Award." Eric is also a 5 year member of EO (Entrepreneurs Organization).