Alongside the unlimited leave policy, the ASEAN communications consultancy will be rolling-out an in-house travel campaign that aims to combat burnout, encourage creativity and retain talent.
Communications consultancy Vero today announced the launch of an unlimited leave program for team members in support of mental and physical wellness.
“Trust is one of Vero’s highest values, and we trust our people to do the right thing. We encourage our team to ensure that their work is well balanced with the very human need to relax, spend time with family and friends and pursue interests outside of work. We absolutely trust that client campaigns will thrive and prosper as our people have adequate downtime and can bring their best selves to their work,” said Vero CEO Brian Griffin.
“The reality is that we are a hard-working group of people, and over the last year, as a team, we should have taken more time away from work. As an agency, our priority is to take care of our people – and we think our team deserves high levels of flexibility on annual leave, hopefully, so we all can live more healthy and productive lives.”
There is no minimum or maximum number of leave days within the Vero policy. Instead, the idea is that people can take as much leave as needed as long as work is completed, and managers are informed about leave-taking.
However, there are helpful guidelines. The key features of Vero’s unlimited leave policy include automatic approval for leave by management, a minimum recommendation for Vero’s team to take 15 days of leave a year, and team member leave statistics will be included in qualitative appraisals of managers.
Paid holidays will not be available for cashing out or carried over to the next year, in a move to shift the status of leave from a commodity to an essential part of the workflow at Vero.
“We know in our fast-paced and creative industry, time away from work is necessary for people to be at their best, which is why we launched our unlimited leave programme,” said Vero People and Culture Manager Supreeyaporn Sihawong.
“The pandemic has shifted our understanding of what is truly important in work-life balance. Hybrid working has really taken off this year, which has been revolutionary in more ways than one. Staff no longer need to commute for an hour to come in every day, but also work more hours daily. Encouraging teams to take longer annual leave is important to compensate for the nature of our work throughout the year and allow creativity and productivity to recharge.”
In the lead-up to releasing the new policy, Vero has adopted a progressive governance strategy to source questions and concerns across the organization, by setting up a representative focus group and making sure that the terms of the policy were clearly vetted and considered, while Frequently Asked Questions were documented and shared as part of the launch.
“Legal minimums and cultural habits vary substantially across the countries we’re based in, so it was imperative that we coordinate and engage team members at all levels ahead of launching such a broad and culture-shifting policy,” shares Vu-Quan Nguyen-Masse, Head of Culture and Brand of Vero. “But the goal remains the same: Helping our people bring their best selves to work.”
To support the new policy, Vero will conduct an internal communications campaign designed to encourage managers to facilitate holiday planning for their team members.
“Having worked in a variety of agencies in Asia and liaising with anyone from accounts to creatives and clients over the years, I can testify that injecting a progressive approach to time management is key to nurturing high potentials and turning in great work,” says Sasha Alwani, Regional Planning Director at Vero.
Considering operational stakes as well, at the top of which sits client servicing, the consultancy ensures that teams are always fully resourced and coordinated for continuity. Team members on leave are required to organize efficient handovers, facilitating the contact between their peers. On the management side, Vero also provides team leaders an opportunity to raise a case if they need to decline a holiday request, with a second screening by HR and Country Management.
In other cases, holidays are automatically accepted, leveraging a culture of trust which Vero advocates for, believing that frictionless processes allow for more productive contributions.
Alongside the unlimited leave program, Vero is launching an internal travel campaign to further encourage staff to take annual leave in order to develop internal communications to reach consumer-grade standards. Focused on domestic travel, for the time being, Vero will share travel tips and inspiration across its 5 countries to eliminate stigma or reticence in booking annual leave.
Earlier this year, Vero launched the concept of a super campus, which aims to facilitate a more developed hybrid work infrastructure, through new creative workspaces and a comprehensive digital ecosystem for team members to connect, learn and work across borders, either at home or at the office.