Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

October 13 2015

LinkedIn Is Changing Its Workplace Experience — Should Your Company Do The Same?

By Mary Reynolds Kane

LinkedIn’s recipe for success seems to be working quite well. According to recent valuations, the professional networking site is worth approximately $26 billion. It has more than 380 million members in over 200 countries and territories, and it’s expanding its audience each day of the year.

However, LinkedIn wants to make a tweak to the most important piece of the company: the employees. Beginning November 1, the company will use a new vacation policy that will impact the more than 8,700 full-time employees who receive paychecks from LinkedIn. It’s called Discretionary Time Off (DTO), and it eliminates the traditional x-amount-of-annual-vacation-days approach used in the majority of companies.

“With discretionary time off, there is no set minimum or maximum amount of vacation time employees can take in a year,” Pat Wadors, CHRO - Senior Vice President Global Talent Organization, LinkedIn, wrote in a recent blog post. “Instead, employees will work with their manager to request time off when they need it.”

“We are not alone in making this shift to DTO,” Wadors added. “It’s part of a growing movement to place more focus on results and empowerment, not hours worked. And it’s an important step to help employees recharge and keep engaged.”

Wadors and LinkedIn are following other names such as General Electric, Virgin and Netflix and embracing the belief that giving employees more control over their calendars will pay bigger dividends for the company’s bottom line and for each employee’s well-being.

On the surface, breaking up with the specific allotment of vacation days seems like great news for employees. Get your work done, and you can actually enjoy some personal time, right? Not necessarily. In today’s constantly-connected business environment, the lines between professional responsibilities and personal time are blurring. Recent survey findings from CareerBuilder show that 31 percent of employees check email on vacation, and 30 percent of their bosses expect them to check in if there is a big project or major event happening while they’re away from the office.

Will LinkedIn’s change create happier employees, or will it lead to employees who just work more in the hopes of getting ahead? Could a similar program work at your organization? Go to Catalyst to share your thoughts on how employers can help workers achieve better work-life balances.

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