CEO John Kogan does not shy away from bold ideas. He launched Proformative in 2009 when he realized there was no centralized resource for finance and accounting professionals to connect with and advise each other. Proformative has since become the world’s biggest finance knowledge-sharing community and offers on-demand learning to help corporate finance and related professionals excel in their careers. Kogan drew on his skills as an innovator to solve a human resources problem within his own company.
(Photo courtesy of John Kogan)
Tracking paid time off (PTO) for his 12 employees had become an administrative burden. “The whole ‘make a request, fill out a form, get approval, then confirm in writing’ loop was a complete waste of time for employees,” Kogan says. “The administration of data and tracking was a waste for the company.” He also believes that the system treats employees like children, which makes for unhappy employees. His solution? Give employees unlimited PTO.
With one broad stroke, he eliminated request forms, the whole approval process and time spent tracking PTO to compare with company policy. “In the old model,” Kogan says, “people would hoard PTO. In fact, at every company I’ve been at, big and small, people hoard PTO. That’s just the reverse of what you want them doing — leading fun, happy and productive lives.”
With unlimited PTO, why ever show up for work? “The crux is,” says Kogan, “you have to get your work done. If you are doing that and doing it well, as we expect all employees to do, we’re happy for you to get out there and lead your balanced life.” Since implementing the unlimited PTO, Proformative has actually experienced a decrease in absenteeism. Kogan attributes this to the trust created by giving employees control over their vacation time.
“Funny things happen when you hire good people, treat them well and show them trust. They will typically trust you back and care for you, and by extension, your customers and stakeholders.” With this trust, employees are engaged and happy. They want to go to work each morning. The unlimited PTO policy is a win all the way around. Even more important than reducing administrative tasks, Kogan believes the new policy helps create the performance-based culture he seeks for his business.
This article was written by Gillian Burdett for Small Business Pulse