One company’s promise to employees: Stay with the company for at least seven years and it’ll help make your dreams come true.
This year, The Marketing Arm, a Dallas-based marketing and promotions agency, is starting a unique sabbatical program that it estimates will cost between $125,000 and $200,000 in 2012 alone.
Employees who’ve been with the company at least seven years will be rewarded an extra seven days off and $2,500. And those who’ve been with the company at least 15 years will get 15 extra days off and $5,000.
There are two catches to the program: 1) Employees must take the days off concurrently (giving employees 11 or 21 straight days off), and 2) they must do something personally rewarding with the time and money.
The ideas will be reviewed by a company committee, but to get approved they must meet one of three criteria:
- Employees must do something for the betterment of their lives or the lives of others
- Learn something they’ve always wanted to, or
- Pursue a passion.
This year, 50 of the company’s 450 employees qualify.
Next year, another 25 will qualify.
Some of the ideas employees have proposed, according to The Dallas Morning News:
- Attend a surfing camp in Costa Rica
- Travel to India for a meditation retreat
- Attend a tennis academy in Florida so the employee can teach her daughter to play
- Learn how to make cheese and chocolate in Switzerland
- Put on a fundraising event for the Children’s Cardiomyopathy Foundation (employees son needs a heart transplant), and
- Enroll in clown school so the employee can be a hospital clown for kids in her free time.
After committee approval, employees have two years to complete their proposals.
Ray Clark, the founder and CEO of The Marketing Arm, came up with the idea after taking a month off to write movie scripts. He found the experience extremely rewarding and wanted to offer his employees a similar opportunity to pursue their dreams.