At True, we recognize the importance of work-life balance. Our culture is one that emphasizes trust and accountability. Over the course of the last few years, the stress and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic led us to reassess some of our internal policies considering our core values and think of additional ways we could promote healthy work-life balance and the mental health of our team members.
We decided to introduce an unlimited paid time off (PTO) policy at the start of 2021 and a hybrid work model to help everyone at True maintain proper work-life balance.
Our previous model of vacation time was such that PTO was awarded to the team based on each team member’s years of service with the agency. We also offered flexibility through enabling the team to work remotely on occasion as well as to take a few hours here or there for appointments without being docked vacation time. The former PTO policy was standard in design compared to most companies; however, we had contemplated shifting toward a more progressive model for a few years and felt strongly that this was the right time to make that change. We wanted to make sure our team had the flexibility and support to take the time they needed and didn't have to worry about running out of PTO for reasons such as dealing with personal illness or taking the day off to take care of a sick child.
"True's culture is built on trust, accountability, and transparent communication. Therefore, we firmly believed changing to an unlimited PTO policy would be successful since we have those fundamental values in place to support it.”
Chief Operations Officer - Leah Chalet
"The pandemic created a new level of stress in all our lives," Leah said. "It showed us that work-life balance is essential, and we need to prioritize the mental health of our team."
Unlimited PTO provides employees with the option to take time off from work for those unplanned sick days, vacation time, and personal or mental health days. Yes, mental health days! Mental health is important, and we want to empower our team to take time to re-energize if they need it.
"I am certain it's impacted productivity in the sense that everyone needs to take personal time to rest and recharge both physically and mentally. This way, everyone can show up as their best selves in the workplace," Leah stated.
"We trust our team members, and we want them to know we trust them," Leah said.
“One question I frequently get is how we enforce this policy to prevent abuse,” stated Leah. “At the end of the day, we still track PTO for administrative purposes and require our team members to proactively communicate plans for PTO. Should a conflict arise, or seeming abuse of the policy occur, we have a conversation about it. We have yet to see this happen, however. If anything, we have found ourselves encouraging team members to take time off!” True’s policy promotes accountability. We require team members to plan accordingly to ensure work is completed, deadlines are achieved, and our team members and clients are supported.
While the pandemic shifted how most industries function, it allowed us to recognize that we can work efficiently with an unlimited PTO policy and a hybrid schedule in place. In addition, the new system gave our team the chance to collaborate differently, which has resulted in new innovative ideas when creating strategies for our clients.
Unlimited PTO may not be the answer for every company, but it's working well for our team. When deciding if an unlimited PTO policy is beneficial, it comes down to the culture and having the capacity to be able to manage this type of policy. If your company is interested in switching to an unlimited PTO policy, SHRM has some great resources and templates to get you started!
Working a hybrid schedule and having unlimited PTO has transformed the work environment immensely and has improved the well-being of our team. Having an energized team leads to a positive impact on the work we do for our clients as well.
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