28 September 2014

I’ve always been fascinated by successful people, whether that’s a fellow entrepreneur, a sporting hero or a brilliant parent. Some people just seem to have the right stuff; the traits that make them shine a little brighter than others. Perhaps one of those traits is the ability to take calculated risks; to look into the void and just jump. What lies at the bottom? Well, these kinds of people would likely argue that there’s only really one way to find out.

Last week one of the world’s most renowned entrepreneurs proved this yet again when he got the world talking about his unlimited holiday idea, which he’s rolled out at offices in the UK and America. Whilst radical and potentially inspirational, it is certainly a step into the unknown and very brave.

But fortune has a habit of favouring the brave and as an adventurer that is a necessary trait when embarking on new territory. Looking back throughout history, these days we work very differently from the times of Victorian factories (although some might argue the modern day call centres are, in essence, still operating in a similar fashion).

Alternatively, you can always just take your team on holiday with you...

Alternatively, you can always just take your team on holiday with you…

On the face of it, unlimited holidays sounds like a great idea. The only challenge being managing the process and is everyone going to be responsible or will some people take advantage of an employer’s good nature?

Ultimately, I think it’s all about being fair. I believe that we should reward people who work hard and who remain loyal to businesses. The are many ways to separate your business and employment strategy out from the crowd, and if unlimited holidays might not be right for your business, start getting creative and dream up new ways to make people feel valued.

Many businesses give an extra day of holiday for each day of service to reward their loyalty or give employees their birthdays off? We adopted both these ideas as they seem fair and logical.

One of our more radical approaches to rewarding long standing employees was to create a club. The 5 year club and the 10 year club. Both these are ways of giving extra benefits to those who choose to stay with the business. It’s invaluable to hold on to top talent, so we decided to add a £1000 bonus for 5 year service and a £10,000 bonus to those at the 10 year mark. We even chose to pay the tax on the benefit too!

10 years goes very quickly and these days its very difficult to save money so it’s a great reward and a just one too.

I take an enormous amount of pleasure giving these cheques out at the Christmas Party. People with 10 years’ experience are invaluable. They know your culture inside out and they have an understanding that is impossible to replace.

Our employment strategy at UKFast continues to evolve. We now give people an extra week of holiday in the year they get married. Knowing how hard it is during the run up to a wedding, this is often well-needed.

Ultimately, I’m all up for flexibility but I still think it’s healthy that everyone knows where they stand and feel comfortable that they’re being treated equally and fairly. What do you think? I’d be interested to know where you stand, whether you’re an employee or a business owner.

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