Popular English business magnate Richard Branson made a bold decision this year when he said all salaried employees of his venture capital conglomerate, Virgin Group, would have access to unlimited vacation.
Virgin was not the first to offer this type of perk. Streaming media company Netflix and a host of other businesses have allowed workers over the past few years to take as many days off as they see fit, as long as their work gets done.
While unlimited vacation time seems like an enticing workplace staffing and recruiting tool, it's not as feasible in an industry such as healthcare. Many healthcare organizations, especially those in the provider space, operate 24/7 and require employees to be available at a moment's notice.
But Virgin's new workplace benefit exemplifies a challenge the healthcare industry is broadly facing: How can organizations better engage their employees to face a changing business model? As healthcare workers are expected to do more with fewer resources, what are the best ways to ensure they are happy and not feel overextended?
Hospitals, doctor offices, insurers, suppliers and other healthcare companies need talented individuals to provide high-quality care and develop innovative products for a population that is increasingly gaining health insurance coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.