I was first introduced to ROWE (Results-Only Work Environment) in the book Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It, by Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson, creators of the ROWE movement. What ROWE recommends, in short, is that you treat your employees as the adults they are, stop micromanaging them and insisting they work certain ways or times, and trust that they will get the work done. They will surprise you, rise to the challenge, and be more engaged. ROWE also recommends less meetings and time wasters that are all about looking busy instead of getting work done.
I was very excited to read this book and their second one, Managing Sucks and How to Fix It, and even more excited that there actually was a movement to fix how employees are treated and evaluated.
Somewhat related are all the great perks that startups offer their talent, including "flexible time off policy." Again, they are trusting them to be adults, get their work done, and take the time off they need to stay fresh, healthy, and engaged.
For those who work in corporations, you may be thinking I wish, but this is never going to happen. And even if you're right, if you recognize that this movement has merit, that your staff are adults who can be trusted to manage their own time, and that they deserve time off, you will find a way to incorporate some of this into your department's culture. For example, I have given staff their birthdays as an extra day off or if work allowed, let them leave early before a holiday.
Better yet, ask your staff what they would prefer. Something all managers have to recognize (and I often remind myself), is that what motivates you won't necessarily motivate your staff. (I wrote a post on this in a previous blog I no longer maintain, but the sentiments hold.) Perhaps one employee would prefer a work from home day rather than leaving early prior to a holiday, or another would prefer to take two half days rather than a whole day. If the intent is to reward their efforts and show your appreciation, than the only way to ensure you succeed is by asking them.
Now, for national holidays. Even if you're a global company and have several lists of national holidays to consider and offer, do so and do so fully. Unless your company needs to be open and therefore have coverage, in which case you can rotate time off, there is no reason to be stingy. National holidays are when your staff can share time off with family and friends, truly recharge, and come back more engaged and refreshed. It's in your best interest and good business sense to take advantage of this. The alternative is a resentful employee who won't be giving his or her best anyhow.
Does time off motivate you?