It is almost becoming fashionable (well okay Virgin Group and Netflix) to let staff choose the amount of leave they take. Maybe we are entering a period of enlightenment with respect to talent management?
I think as this idea catches on we will see a drop in leave consumption and a rise in sickness absence.
I believe the majority of workers today will find this new model stressful because:
- For some it threatens the distrust barrier that enables staff to steal stationery without guilt, gripe about their boss and sidestep responsibility and ownership with the deftness of a professional rugby forward.
- It creates anxiety as it was much easier to be allocated a number and simply subtract from that until zero was reached. What number do we now start from? This is not dissimilar to the choice anxiety people feel when too many options are on offer.
I think the staff at Netflix and Virgin will cope well because they appear to have mastered the art of playing as a team. But I think many organisations, particularly those that are process-driven and who use people in their capacity as labour rather than humans, will struggle.
What do you think?