Vacation, Empowerment and Virgin

30 Sep 2014

The recent announcement of Richard Branson and the Virgin Group to follow video streaming giant Netflix in introducing a policy of employees deciding when and how much vacation to take is a courageous move and full credit to Branson.

It may not work in every company but the ‘do as I say, say as I do’ approach is gradually becoming obsolete in today’s world and this initiative is the ultimate in empowerment. But…… to work effectively will depend on how much Virgin’s ‘teams’ truly are teams – and that is a whole new area of team development.  In a proper team with clear responsibilities, empowerment, communications and, above all, agreements between the team members – as opposed to all communication being through a manager or director this move will undoubtedly boost morale and positivity and, as a result, productivity and results. Where there isn’t that structure in place, it could, just could, lead to some ‘Me, myself and I’ attitude from some employees which may backfire.  Virgin is an empowering organization, however, and my bets are on it being a supreme initiative. And if it does create some issues, I’m more than happy to lead a seminar for the senior management team to show how it can work!

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