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How Paid Leave Changes Affect Organizational Culture

Rachel Reed
1/10/18 9:49 AM

Traditional benefits like health insurance, a retirement plan, paid time off, and bonuses are just the tip of the iceberg with forward-thinking organizations. The battle for top talent creates a new need for companies to offer competitive benefits. The new organization is focused on the employee first and incorporates transparency, flexibility, and equality into culture. Many organizations are shifting focus to an employee-centric culture, much like brands are shifting focus to a customer-centric approach in attracting and retaining loyal consumers.

Here are a few new-age perks leading organizations are offering up to attract and retain top talent:

Paid Sick Leave

Several US states like California, Vermont, and Massachusetts have enacted mandatory paid sick leave laws, most effective January 2017.

Unlimited Paid Time Off

Fast Company offered unlimited PTO to its employees for one year in 2014 to assess employee response and success rate and found that employees responded most favorably to the idea of trust, individualized attention, and understanding conveyed by offering up the policy. Employees took the same amount of time off in that pilot year as before under the traditional, accrued PTO policy.

Student loan debt repayment

Many organizations are moving to offer employees student debt loan repayment to meet the needs of young talent. Fidelity, Aetna, and Staples for example offer up to $2,000 toward repayment of student loans.

Continued education

But not just continued education - career development focused on the talents and needs of the individual employee. Some companies even focus on lateral movement within a company to promote skill building. Southwest Airlines, for instance, encourages employees to take on lateral positions within new departments to keep them engaged and continuously learning new skills.

Paid Parental Leave

The new normal for organizations across is at least five months of paid leave for new parents across the gender spectrum. Starting with organizations in the tech sector, particularly Silicon Valley giants including Netflix, Microsoft, and Amazon are announcing improved policies to support families.


After Facebook announced a significant change to its bereavement policy in February 2017, several companies took notice. In fact, SurveyMonkey, MasterCard, and Zillow Group followed suit.

New benefits like paid parental leave and student loan payment may be attractive for new talent, but what about employees with no children or without student debt to pay? That’s where companies stay the course and continue to focus on employees as individuals: Linkedin heard feedback after implementing a parental leave policy of its own and decided to allocate a quarterly stipend to employees not benefitting from the policy.


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