Netflix, Inc. (NFLX), Best Buy Co., Inc. (BBY), The Gap Inc. (GPS): An Ode to the Greatest Employee Perk of All

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Every week, for more than a year now, we’ve examined some of the most incredible CEOs in the business world. Whether it’s through their incredible strategy as corporate heads, their focus on improving shareholder value, or their unparalleled compassion for their employees and the communities they operate in, we’ve come across a lot of really unique CEOs.

However, this week we’re going to take a break from looking at corporate leaders and, instead, focus on what I feel is the most transformative employee perk of all employee perks. I’m not talking about the occasional CEO donating his multi-million dollar bonus to his employees, or the CEO who purchases Apple iPad Minis for his full-time employees. No, I’m talking about the one perk that only 1% of all U.S. businesses currently employs that has the potential to revolutionize productivity and improve employee retention and satisfaction. I’m talking about the unlimited vacation policy!

How can I proclaim this to be the greatest perk on Earth, knowing full well that Google employees have a slide on their campus? Because I work for a company, The Motley Fool, which employs this policy with great success.

The greatest perk in the world

Source: The Motley Fool.

Although I work as a contributor for the Fool in the suburbs of Seattle, The Motley Fool, which is headquartered in Alexandria, Va., allows its employees free reign on their vacation schedule as long as they get their work done. As my Foolish colleague Matt Trogdon noted in an interview with CNN just last week: “We have no-policy vacation policy. We just want you to get your work done, however you’re going to do it best.”Unsurprisingly, The Motley Fool boasts one of the lowest turnover rates within the financial services industry, and the company has received an incredible 4.7 out of 5 stars on Glassdoor, with 97% of employees (myself included) saying they’d recommend their company to a friend, and a perfect 100% approval rating of our co-founders, Tom and David Gardner. Can you tell I love the company that I work for?

What’s incredible is that it isn’t just me and my colleagues who are partaking in this amazing perk. Whereas, you might think this is a perk that’s dominated by the technology sector, there are quite a few companies divvying out this amazing perk that I’d bet money you would have never, ever guessed.

Companies with incredible time-off policies

Perhaps one of the more obvious beneficiaries here is streaming content provider Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), which began offering its employees unlimited time off years ago. According to CEO and co-founder Reed Hastings in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) gauges employee production on the quality of work produced, not on the amount of hours worked. Hastings understands that proper work-life balance needs to be in play for employees to deliver high-quality work and remain responsible. Given that Netflix touched an all-time high yesterday, I would certainly say that it’s working.

Now, raise your hand if you expected to see big-box retailer Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) among those offering a practically limitless vacation policy? Best Buy operates under the premise of a “results only work environment.” Simply put, since Best Buy restructured and moved its employees toward a sales incentive-driven structure, all that matters is how much they’re selling. This means hours are no longer kept track of — only performance matters. If a Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) employee wants to take a vacation, he or she simply notifies the boss of the time off that’s needed, and away that employee goes! With the stock tripling this year, like Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), I’d have to say that it’s working.

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