New time-off policy helps employees achieve work/life blend.

It’s been three months since we got rid of our traditional PTO policy, and we’re loving it! In January, Ervin & Smith adopted a new time-off policy, which lets employees take time off whenever they need it as long as they’re meeting their goals. We’ve seen some great results from the new policy.

Employees say the No. 1 benefit of the policy is the flexibility it offers. Adopting a performance based work environment allows them to have more control over their personal and work life. They feel more empowered to take the time they need – and to work when they work best or when the job requires them to be available.

Here’s what some E&Sers had to say:

  • “It is an excellent way to better manage my day. I don’t feel confined to having to work out or run errands during a lunch hour or after work hours – so long as I’m accountable and meeting my goals, I can run the day in a way that works the best for me.”
    —Megan Merry
  • “I love our time-off policy because of the flexibility it provides me in balancing my personal life and work life.  I can take my kids to school in the morning and start working at 9 a.m. on certain days, then fire up the laptop to finish some tasks after I put them to bed in the evening, because that’s what works best for me.”
    —Ryan Cruickshank
  • “The new policy allowed me to manage through a really challenging time while my husband was out of town for two months, giving me the flexibility to shift my work hours throughout the entire day to better accommodate life as a ‘single’ mom!”
    —Ellie Steinbrink
  • “While Ervin & Smith was always flexible to employee and family needs, I feel the policy really formalizes this flexibility. It feels good to work for an organization that trusts me by default, rather than an exception to the rule.”
    —David Shreffler

Aside from flexibility, Ervin & Smith is seeing additional benefits from having a performance based work environment.

Increased focus

Unlimited time off has challenged employees to be smarter in how they approach their work. People are more efficient with their time. They question the value of the work they are doing and eliminate things that take up time but don’t have an impact on our business goals and commitments.

When people evaluate what keeps them from getting their work done, one of the biggest time sucks is meetings. Our new time-off policy is helping employees question the need for a meeting, and they’re more disciplined with meetings as a result. They think about who needs to be in the meeting, are more prepared and define the outcome they want to achieve.

Stronger teams

Collaboration is a huge part of our culture and is necessary when developing and executing integrated marketing strategies that need input from multiple teams. Allowing employees to take time off as needed requires that teams communicate and collaborate even more, and it’s teaching employees how to delegate effectively. This type of approach opens up opportunities for cross-departmental training and growth opportunities for junior employees.  Loyalty among team members has also increased. Employees help and support each other because they trust that their co-workers will return the favor if needed.

Thinking outside the box

This type of policy is forcing people to think differently and challenge their assumptions. Everyone’s work/life needs are different. We encourage employees to identify what their biggest challenges or wants are and figure out how to meet their goals – without being confined to the rules that most of us believe to be true about how we need to get our job done. People don’t have to work or be in the office from 8-5 in order to meet their goals.

We are excited to see what other benefits emerge as employees continue to adapt to a performance based environment. So far, our time-off policy appears to be one of the top benefits offered to our employees.

Leanne Prewitt

President & Chief Executive Officer

Shaped by her background in creative direction, Leanne leads the agency’s culture and creative vision and also oversees the operations that allow a team of marketing, design and media specialists to create powerful and effective work for their client partners.

Leanne began her professional career in New York City working for some of the nation’s leading agencies. In 2016, after a five-month sabbatical around the world, she returned to her hometown and joined Ervin & Smith. Her global perspective and expanded professional experience influence the work she does today.