CEO gives his employees $2,000 to go on vacation says people are more productive than ever

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Believe it or not, there is a CEO in the United States who demands his employees take a vacation. He even insists the company pay for it.

Mark Douglas, the CEO of SteelHouse®, a marketing and advertising company based in California, hands out $2000 in extra pay each year to employees that must be used exclusively for vacations.

In 2016, he told Business Insider “If you have a caged lion that was born in captivity, and then you open the cage, they back up more into the cage. They don’t start running free,” he said. “When we first started telling people they had unlimited vacation, they didn’t even know how to interpret that.”

photo via oneinchpunch/Shutterstock

How the Steelhouse paid vacation works.

Employees who buy their plane tickets on a Monday will get reimbursed by Tuesday. If the employee can’t front the cash, SteelHouse will let them use the company credit card to book the flight. Once people return from their trips, they can submit their expenses for reimbursement up to the $2,000 cap. (Business Insider)

What if you don’t want to take a vacation?

Douglas is adamant that employees are happier and healthier when they are encouraged to sort of hit the reset button.

“I actually want you to go somewhere and enjoy yourself,” he said.

Why he offers this perk.

In 3 years, only 5 of 250 employees have left the company. “We have virtually zero turnover,” he said.

Douglas believes his staff comes back to work full of renewed energy and joy, which makes the whole company culture all the better for it.

“It’s one thing to say ‘You have three weeks vacation,’ like most companies do,” he said. “It’s another thing to say ‘You have cash, and if you don’t go on vacation and spend this money, the money literally goes to waste.’ It’s another level of saying this is real.” (source)

This company has a whole lot more for employees, too.

This CEO has his finger on the pulse of what makes a happy employee family. Congratulations, Mr. Douglas. You are setting the bar high for other employees, which can only be a good thing.

Work there and you can expect these awesome perks.

  • Competitive compensation
  • 100% healthcare coverage
  • Flexible spending accounts (FSA)
  • Open-ended vacation policy
  • $2,000 annual vacation stipend
  • A company-wide 3-day weekend every month
  • $500 contribution to Acorns portfolio
  • 401(k) plan
  • Stocked kitchen, food trucks, and outdoor BBQ
  • Gated outdoor dog run
  • Free laptop that is yours
  • Custom in-office brewery
  • Weekly fitness classes

Ready to move to Culver City, California?

While that might not be something you can actually do, be encouraged by this company. If there is one, there will be more who follow.

In the meantime, take a peek at this list of the top 10 companies to work for. You might be surprised to find there is something near you.

But hey, just because you can’t move doesn’t mean you can’t be hired at a great company. FlexJobs is a legitimate, safe site that shares jobs that hire folks who want to work from home. Yes, there is a small monthly fee. But, you can try it for free.

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