26. September 2023

Why is everyone talking about… holiday stipends?

Personio Pulse: This Week in HR - 1

Welcome to Personio Pulse: This Week in HR, where each week we take a look at the latest trends in the world of work, what you need to know about them and what they mean for you as an HR professional. 

This week we’re covering holiday stipends as a benefit for employees.

What you need to know

How would you fancy a work-sponsored vacation? The concept of a ‘free holiday’ is a rather new entrant to the employee benefits scene. It’s one where organisations pay employees to go on vacation (usually through stipends ranging between £1,500 to £2,000 per year). 

While this particular benefit has its roots in the travel industry, with companies like Airbnb pioneering it, other organisations like Evernote and Calendly have followed suit.

What others are saying about it 

From conversations we’re having, the ‘free holiday’ is just one part of a much wider conversation around benefits and how it factors into your employer brand. 

Michael König, a senior lecturer at the department of strategy and innovation, Vienna University of Economics and Business, says: "The steep increase in the cost of living and rising inflation rates worldwide make holidays a true luxury. Companies that offer paid holiday expenses are addressing this directly… Employers can use this intelligently in their employer branding strategy."

The question becomes: What suits your company’s strategy? Who is the ideal candidate you want to attract or the desired employee you want to retain? Your benefits need to be holistic and clear. That starts by gaining a sense of what motivates your workforce. 

What that means for you

We recommend putting your benefits package under the microscope. Take stock of everything and ask: 

  • Do these benefits suit the type of candidates we want to attract most? 

  • Are these benefits having a known impact on employee retention? 

  • How do each of these benefits factor into our overall employee experience? 

  • Do your benefits track with your DEI efforts and remain inclusive to all? 

Consider tracking the usage of various benefits you currently offer (like development budgets). Speak with your top performers on what would motivate them and even consider piloting a programme that you can extend across your organisation (like a sabbatical programme for tenured employees). It might be time to recalibrate your benefits package.

What else should I read? 

That's all for this week's edition of Personio Pulse: This Week in HR. Check back next week as we continue to dissect the latest trends impacting the ways we work. 

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Max Specht

Max Specht

Max Specht is a Senior Content Marketing Manager at Personio. He enjoys writing and discussing topics related to employee engagement, leadership development and process optimisation.

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