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“So You Offer Flexible PTO? Prove It.”

Soundstripe Team

Nov 22, 2021

There often comes a moment in new hire orientations when skepticism washes over the new Soundstriper’s face. As I begin to discuss our flexible PTO policy I sense them wondering if it is too good to be true. 

By the end of the conversation, I see them relieved as they begin to believe that we genuinely want every Soundstriper to be able to fully show up at work and in life. 

No accruals. No thresholds. No stress of wondering if you have enough time in the PTO bank to take that vacation, go see your doctor, make your kid’s event at school. Truly unlimited. We wholeheartedly believe in the spirit of freedom and responsibility. We expect every employee to manage their time and balance their priorities, and our performance driven culture reinforces these expectations. 

The proof is in the practice

Now you may be thinking this all sounds great in theory, but how do you actually put unlimited PTO into practice? And how does Soundstripe show it works?

1. Clarify your policy

Clarity around the policy is critical, and employees are trusted to be responsible when they request time off. Breaking out “types” of PTO allows us to gain insight into the needs of our workforce. Employees are prompted to submit time off requests as vacation, sick, family support or bereavement time. 

It’s all unlimited, but tracking allows us to provide reports to managers and flag employees who may not be taking enough time to rest. That’s right: We actively encourage people to take time off to rest and recharge. 

Our executives and team leads set an example by openly taking vacations, mental health days, time off to spend with family — and encouraging their team members to do the same. 


2. Set early, check-in often

Managers are trained to encourage their team members to take time off and to address PTO requests with consistency. From an HR standpoint, we are able to put our energy elsewhere in the organization by eliminating the administrative burden of traditional PTO policies. 

To prompt our people leaders, we provide quarterly reports that show how their team is utilizing PTO. This allows for proactive encouragement of taking time to rest, versus waiting until an employee feels burnt out. 

3. Reinforce your results

How do we know our flexible PTO policy works? Over the course of 2020, the average Soundstriper took between 20 and 30 days of PTO, ranging from vacation, to family support, mental health, and jury duty, in addition to 10 paid company holidays.

The rest and balance from our policy proves itself in the productivity of our workforce. Heading into the second half of 2021, employee performance at Soundstripe is rated at 87%, company performance against goals set forth in Q1 is rated at 65%, and our employee satisfaction score remains over 80%. 

Our employees evangelize the support for their life, families, and mental health. Despite navigating a world pandemic event, our staff remains engaged and inspired.

Bringing it all together

No false marketing here. Just a team of really incredible, hard working, responsible people who deserve to be trusted and treated like the adults they are. When employees are able to rest and take care of themselves they are much more likely to be productive at work. Everyone wins. 

Interested in putting your skills to work here?  Check out our careers site for information on open positions and follow us on LinkedIn.  

About the author

Sarah Schobinger is the HR Manager at Soundstripe. When she's not organizing her vintage Pyrex or Christmas decorations, Sarah is probably planning her next trip to Disney World.