The Most Popular Emerging Employee Benefit is…

I remember thinking, how am I going to do this?

I had just started my first full-time job out of college, and I was getting married that year.  I had been given two weeks of vacation for my first year that I had to earn throughout the year.

If I wanted to take a honeymoon and be off a day or two before the wedding, I really had almost no time left to take off.  And a couple of my good friends were getting married that summer too, and I was in their weddings out of town.

Was I going to have to lie and fake sick to be able to take enough time off to be in attendance for these events (since sick time was a separate time off bank at the time), or was I going to have to choose and miss something in order to be at work?

And these decisions did not take into account whether I even needed to be present to get work done.  I could actually report to work missing something important to me, and quite possibly not have much work if any, to get accomplished if I was wise with my time and worked efficiently.

According to a survey out by MetLife (click to download the full survey for this information), the most coveted emerging employee benefit is unlimited time off.

Seventy-two percent of those surveyed said that unlimited time off is the emerging benefit they are most interested in.

I could understand this in my early twenties when a benefit like this would have been unheard of, and I can certainly understand it now with my life involving time off needs that don’t just revolve around me but also the needs of a growing family.

The survey states: Emerging benefits help employers create the kind of culture that demonstrates a deeper level of care for employees, communicating that their needs are valued and their employer is committed to their success.”  

In addition, and possibly more importantly, unlimited time off communicates trust to employees.  Trust that they know when and how much is appropriate to take off and for the right reasons.

It also demonstrates a level of trust in leaders who are managing employees’ time to be able to utilize this benefit in a way that leads to company and individual success.

So in a day and age where unlimited time off is an actually possibility, would it be your most coveted benefit offering?

And if you are an employer with the ability to provide this benefit, what keeps you from doing so?

Full disclaimer:  We offer unlimited time off at Horizon Point, and I have found that our people have never abused it.  If anything, there is not enough time taken off when needed.

Mary Ila Ward

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