This tech company allowed its HR manager to take three months of paid leave due to a pay rise.

Millions of Americans are quitting their jobs and rethinking what they want when it comes to work and work-life balance. Companies are responding by meeting the needs of their employees in areas such as remote work, flexible hours, a four-day work week, compensation and more. This story is part of a series focusing on The Big Shift and the changes in workplace culture that are happening right now.

Imagine that you get a full salary and take three months off work to do whatever you want.

For most, this may be an unattainable dream, but for technology company employees Auto, this is reality. For every five years of service, employees receive a paid three-month sabbatical.

For Laurie Maclise, this was the perfect cure for burnout in 2016.

“We were very stretched,” said Maclise, head of human resources at Automattic, the online publishing and commercial company behind, Tumblr and others.

“I started to wonder if I still enjoy doing this kind of work.”

Laurie Maclise, Global Head of Human Resources at Automattic, walked around the Camino de Santiago during her 2016 sabbatical.

Source: Laurie Maclise

She loves nature, so she decided to hike the Camino de Santiago, a network of pilgrimage routes across Europe. She walked over 600 miles in three months. In addition to traversing the Camino de Santiago, she visited cities in France and walked through tulips in the Netherlands.

“It was the best thing I could ever do,” recalled Maclise, who lived in San Francisco at the time.

First, she realized that she was not a city girl and decided to move to Asheville, North Carolina. She also gained a new sense of purpose at work.

“It helped reset my brain,” Maclise said. “I left completely disconnected, came back, rejuvenated, excited about my job again.”

More from Invest in yourself:
This company has found a cure for employee burnout: a four-day work week
Companies are reinventing the rules as workers seek flexibility
Want a job with a four-day work week? Here’s how to land

It’s one of the goals of Automattic’s policy to give workers a chance to recharge. It also gives them time to think about what they want to do.

“It’s a really good reset point for people to re-evaluate their role, their career, or what they want to return to,” Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg said.

It can also benefit those who are left behind as people take on new responsibilities to replace an employee on sabbatical.

“This is a great opportunity for other team members to rise to leadership positions and get to work on projects that they really enjoy,” Maclise said.

Laurie Maclise, Global Head of Human Resources at Automattic, walked around the Camino de Santiago during her 2016 sabbatical.

Source: Laurie Maclise

Since the launch of the program in 2015, 366 employees have taken 375 sabbaticals (nine have taken two). In addition, 80 sabbaticals are planned for 2022 and early 2023.

Of course, Automattic is an exception. Prior to the pandemic, only 5% of organizations offered paid sabbaticals, while 11% offered it for free, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. income statement for 2019.

However, it has become clear that health and work life are intertwined, says DJ DiDonna, a sabbatical researcher and founder of a nonprofit research and advocacy organization. creative project.

“Between a two-week or a week-long break and a few months, something else happens,” he said.

The last two years have been so hard for everyone and the luxury of being able to spend three months and just take care of yourself is just an invaluable experience.

Lori Maclise

Global Head of Human Resources Automattic

He interviewed hundreds of people about their sabbaticals and found that free time gives people plenty of time to work on their identities.

“Very rarely do you have the opportunity to step back and say, ‘What am I doing? How do I feel about life? How do I want to see my life? Have I lost my way?

In the era of the so-called “Great Retirement,” also known as the “Great Reshuffle,” sabbaticals can also be a tool to attract and retain employees.

According to Mullenweg and Maclise, this certainly helped Automattic. After all, if someone is about to turn five years old and qualify for a sabbatical, why not stay?

Benefits can also be expressed in numbers. According to Maclise, the company’s voluntary employee turnover is about 7.5%. In comparison, according to the career resources website, companies lose an average of 12% of their workforce due to voluntary turnover each year. cippias.

In addition, when many companies had hiring problems last year, Automattic hired 700 people.

Mullenweg said any costs associated with giving employees three months of leave are negligible.

“One of the biggest costs … for companies right now is churn,” Mullenweg said. “Good people leave, their knowledge goes out the door.

“You have to pay to hire new people and train them.”

Finding and training a replacement costs employers the equivalent of six to nine months of an employee’s wages, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.

However, Mullenweg is quick to point out that the sabbatical is part of Automattic’s suite of employee wellness benefits that aid in attracting talent and retaining employees. For example, there is no main office. Instead, employees at the $7.5 billion company can work from anywhere. There are currently 1,912 employees in 96 countries.

Lori Maclise, pictured with her mother on Virginia’s Blue Ridge Boulevard, is about to take a second sabbatical. This time she will spend time at home with her mother and enjoy a walk in the fresh air.

Lori Maclise

For Maclise, a sabbatical is an opportunity worth sticking around for. She is going to start her second one in March. This time, she will stay at home, recovering from the pandemic and spending time with her mother, who has Alzheimer’s and is now living with her.

“Taking care of her and focusing only on her care and her decline, I didn’t always have time to prioritize my own health,” Maclise said.

Her free time will include gardening, hiking, swimming and other activities that bring her joy.

“The last two years have been so hard for everyone and the luxury of being able to spend three months and just take care of yourself is just an invaluable experience,” she said.

REGISTER: Money 101 is an 8-week financial freedom training course delivered weekly to your inbox. To view the Spanish version of Dinero 101 click here.

VERIFY: How a single mother from Atlanta makes $10,000 a month from Outschool teaching just a few hours a week with Acorns+CNBC

Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in acorns.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button