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(Un)limited paid time off

Messaging matters!

Employees in most companies that offer ‘Unlimited Paid Time Off’ seem to be complaining about the policy. 

That’s because unlimited paid time off suggests you can take as much paid time off as you want. 

Now we all know that’s not practical or even possible. 

But we still use that term to attract potential hires and squeeze existing employees.

The truth is that paid time off can never be unlimited.

What the policy really intended to mean is that your paid time off is not restricted to just 20 days or 34 weeks and that you can take more if you and your manager can make it work. 

The term should have been ‘Unrestricted Paid Time Off’. 

Instead of attracting employees by promising what’s possible (unrestricted or less-rigid vacation policy), companies are mistakenly (or deliberately) claiming to offer the impossible unlimited vacation.

It’s when employees can’t get unlimited vacation that buyer’s remorse, dissatisfaction, and complaints find their way into conversations with fellow employees and other people.

Takeaway

Messaging matters.

Do you know any company that offers unlimited paid time off and actually lets employees take off for as long as they want? I’d like to know!

Making promises and keeping them is a great way to build a brand.

Seth Godin

Kurian Babykutty

CEO, 40 Parables

Kurian's a steward of storytelling and a keen observer of people, which is why he geeks out on making marketing meaningful.

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