For every five years an employee has worked at Automattic, they are rewarded with a fully-paid, three-month sabbatical. Since launching this benefit in 2015, 366 employees have embarked on 375 sabbaticals and for 2022 and early next year there are 80 more planned.
Only 5% of organizations provided their employees with a paid sabbatical benefit before the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, while 11% offered unpaid leaves, the Society for Human Resource Management noted in its 2019 benefits report.
Lori McLeese, Automattic’s global head of HR, notes the company’s voluntary turnover is about 7.5%. That compares with companies saying goodbye to 12% of their employees who voluntarily leave every year, on average, career resource site Zippia notes.
“It provides a really nice sort of reset point for people to reevaluate their role or their careers or what they want to come back doing,” said Matt Mullenweg, Automattic CEO.