You're hired! Now take two weeks of time off. That's what SevenRooms' new hires do. The guest experience platform and retention platform for hospitality operators launched its Fresh Start program in January 2022 with the goal to energize and enthuse new hires with paid time off before they begin working.
Paul McCarthy, the company's chief people officer, says the US Bureau of Labor Statistics' bleak figures of Americans quitting their jobs and headlines of employee burnout sparked the idea. He knew SevenRooms had to try a new strategy to address the endless cycle of turnover. Fortunately, the executive leadership team was on board with the plan.
"We had to navigate logistics to ensure it made sense for us as a company, but the mental and physical health, as well as happiness, of our employees has always been top of mind, even before this workforce shift," McCarthy says.
SevenRooms is transparent about the program, including details about it in job postings. "Each new hire has the information right from the start," he explains. "One of the main reasons we're so open about it is because we're committed to the power of choice."
McCarthy reports that since the program's launch, 100 percent of new hires have embraced taking their first two weeks off, whether to relax or to pursue passion projects, such as a certification in wine expertise. The company is still evaluating the program's impact on recruitment and retention as well as any effect it has on time to competency for new hires. But McCarthy assures: "Giving employees the opportunity to start fresh, without worrying about a paycheck, is the ultimate benefit for us as an employer."