6 unique leave policies: the new CULTURE indicators

A lot has been said about org culture and its role in attracting the right talent but we often struggle to identify the indicators of an org’s culture. True, there are the obvious hints of open door policies, flexible work hours, casual dress codes, innovation etc, but isn’t every company pitching themselves on these lines today? How do we really distinguish is the question. And then I came across a workplace policy that can help decipher org culture to an extent – Leave policy

Despite having substantial corporate experience, I realized I missed out on many  variants of  leave policies that are adopted by organizations to reflect a culture of their own. After a quick research, below is the list of unique leave policies and what they indicate about a company’s culture –

Core / mandatory leave – HSBC internationally offers core or mandatory leave of 2 weeks for employees which needs to be availed at a stretch. During the core leave, employees need to be away from workplace and shouldn’t engage in any work related matters including replying to emails on their phone. Organizations like these emphasize on the need to unwind for a productive self. It’s the work hard, party hard kind.

Unlimited Vacation – while we have got the unlimited data packages in India, we need to wait a bit longer for the unlimited paid vacation policy. Few international companies like Virgin airlines and Netflix are differentiating themselves with an unlimited leave policy. Organizations like these are placing their bets on their employee’s self-motivation rather than supervision.  

Leave policies and org culture


Negative leaves  – This one’s like an overdraft facility on your credit card. Mckinsey allows their men in suits to take leaves over and above the yearly balance. The negative leave balance can be adjusted with the following year’s leave quota. Organizations like these have their employees covered for the long term rather than just a year.

Uncapped Sick leave –  A leave type on which there is often analysis about abuse and absenteeism, Godrej has distinguished itself by offering an uncapped sick leave. The organization believes that illness doesn’t come with a count of days and most importantly the company illustrates a culture of trust by adopting a policy with no limit.

Family Leave – While maternity and paternity leaves seem to be the hot topic of the year, family leave is a unique employee benefit offered by one of the Big 4s, Deloitte. Company offers a 16 week paid leave to not just new parents but even to employees who need to care for an ailing family member. Organizations like these are truly empathetic and believe in investing on an employee’s personal life.

Leave pooling – If you have heard that sharing and pooling economy is on the rise, then it’s true. Collaboration is at the core of these organizations that allows employees to share their leaves with those who need it. Accenture calls it the  ‘Hours That Help’ programme.

P.S: At darwinbox, we have a no-policy policy, but our platform is built to support any leave policy your organization may have.  

Schedule a demo to see for yourself.

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