Money Isn't Everything; Good People Are
Building a winning corporate culture
The idea came to me eleven years ago, but I remember as if it were yesterday the mental conflict that came with it. I was the young president of a relatively new firm with the uncommon idea to reward good work with no work at all. As my senior-most colleague's first five-year mark approached, I wondered if it wouldn't be wise to preempt any burnout by giving her paid leave-a sabbatical-then making that five-year reward standard company policy.
The dissenter in my head ended every sentence with a question mark. Could a company of eight or ten people afford in workload alone to give up a key person, even for a few weeks? What about clients who relied on her service and counsel? What if, during her time away, she decided to change companies or careers? What if more and more employees began to qualify? (I now believe one of the indicators of the strength of our firm is how many people have taken sabbaticals.) What then? Few companies offer that kind of time off-maybe for good reason.
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