Employees skipping days off? Make your PTO policy mandatory, company says

Mondo’s “Career” website page highlights just how different this staffing agency is — and most of the information it shares has to do with how the industry leader handles vacation, paid time off and flexible work options.

The goal, explained copywriter Marcus Hatten, is to give the New York-based business a strong group of job candidates, which helps them find “the best of the best” to add its team.

To that end, Mondo created the Unlimited PTO policy. According to its website, it allows employees to “Chill hard, work harder.” The idea at first was to make sure every worker understood that they should take a vacation and that they deserved that time off, Hatten said.

“Personally, I can honestly say I don’t perform that well when I feel overwhelmed and stretched in too many places versus when I maybe take a day off or work from home one day of the week and have a chance to refresh,” Hatten said. “I can feel that I’m performing a lot between the next time I’m at work.”

Hatten said everyone receives vacation time at Mondo. Yet not everyone was using it. This included new employees, who may have decided that working themselves at all hours and every day was a good way to show that they were committed.

So then they got tough – PTO is now mandatory. Yup, you have to go out, leave the office and go … somewhere.

“That was a great policy, but employees weren’t using it. We wanted to encourage everyone to take time off and get away from the office,” Hatten said. “So we created a new policy – PTO is required. For example, a new employee has five mandatory PTO days versus a long-time employee. So someone who has three years in at the company has 15 mandatory PTO days.”

How has it done as a policy? It’s working, Hatten said. Now, people are taking their days and getting away from their desks.

“We’ve noticed it’s helped to take the stigma off of asking for paid time off,” Hatten said.

Every Mondo manager across the company is responsible for overseeing PTO on their teams, Hatten said. They collaborate with the HR department to receive a monthly report. In that report, there is everything about the team’s PTO, such as who has taken time off and who has not. From there, managers are supposed to encourage the team to take a day for vacation.

There’s good reason for Mondo’s policies. More than half of candidates say benefits and perks are among their top considerations before taking a new gig, according to Glassdoor’s 2017 employee benefits guide. Mondo believes tech employers should take extra time when crafting benefit and perks plans because the IT industry tied for the top spot among industries with the highest-rated benefits.

That goes hand in hand with Mondo prioritizing mental health and wellness. According to Hatten, Mondo believes that people need time off to reset your brain and reflect.

“We want you to be the best that you can be and you won’t be your best if you’re here every day,” Hatten said. “People need work-life balance because employees need to take care of themselves first and foremost. You can’t take care of the business if you’re not taking care of yourself.”

To that end, Mondo offers an annual membership to the Headspace app to encourage its employees to balance work and life, to improve their self-care and try meditation.

“Happy employees is good business,” Hatten said. “For example, we’re seeing if (Headspace) is a tool that can help them, especially the sales team and account managers who are out in the field and have a more robust and all over the place day.”