Living Our PTO Dreams
At Preference Employment Solutions, we take our Employee Value Proposition seriously! We just recently implemented another value to our employees called “Passion for Life” PTO. This is an opportunity to take an extended leave every third year after your 5th year of service. The idea behind it is that our employees can use this time to do something they wouldn’t have otherwise done. Things like; travel afar, take a mission trip, work on something at home or with your family or simply rest.
Today I am interviewing the first person to “cash in” on his Passion for Life PTO, Todd. Todd has served at PES for 19 years – so no one blamed him for being the first to use this unique opportunity!
ME: Todd, what was your first reaction to the idea of Passion for Life PTO?
TODD: I was excited for 2 reasons. #1. Cross train. It is so important that we understand firsthand what our team mates do daily. This forces us to understand our individual responsibilities and trust that we have each other covered. This ability to work as a team didn’t happen overnight; we have worked hard to develop our team. #2. Prevent burnout. Did you know that according to ASA, industrial staffing tenure is 2 years? Our job is challenging and I knew that disconnecting for a longer length of time would be good for me.
ME: How did you spend your time?
TODD: We stayed with relatives in the warm climate of Phoenix, AZ. I disconnected from work entirely. I knew my team would connect with me if they needed me. I took the slower, more scenic roads to visit the Grand Canyon and Sedona. I had coffee on the patio in the morning. I golfed. I relaxed. It was peaceful.
ME: Was your family impacted by your PTO?
TODD: The gift of time spent together is the greatest gift you can give your loved ones. My nephew was excited that we could be there to cheer him on during his Iron Man competition. My wife was grateful that we could rest with no schedule.
ME: How did your team respond during your extended leave?
TODD: I must admit the thought does go through your head…Will I be missed? If I wasn’t missed, then what I am doing here? My team was genuinely excited for me to have this opportunity and they were happy to see me return. After I cleared the (literal) cobwebs from my desk, I was able to see that they really had everything covered in my absence. That was a great feeling to know they had everything covered while I was away, but would feel good about my return as well.
ME: Any advice you would give the rest of us as we dream about our own Passion for Life PTO?
TODD: Take it! And don’t think that you have to do something grand with your time. Just for the sake of disconnecting is enough. In fact, if I could change the criteria for Passion for Life PTO, I would say you have to use it or lose it after 2 years. I believe this benefit is a must that everyone should use.
ME: What would you say to another company thinking about implementing this program for their team?
TODD: This is a pretty bold benefit. A company’s #1 benefit would be the forced cross-training. This allows their employers to add value to the company, increase productivity, support succession planning and foster good ol’ team work. The 2nd benefit would be keeping their employees engaged. Many companies would fear what it would cost them to let an employee take this much time off. But I would challenge that thinking in the idea of what would it cost them to keep someone who might be disengaged, burned out and possibly quit as a result. This Passion for Life is a very strong EVP and it could be a reason that good talent stays with a company.
Well said Todd! Welcome back!