FullContact: The Case for No-Contact Vacations
FullContact was a technology company whose core values included being “awesome with people.” This was reflected in the mission of the business and guided the manner in which the organization strived to treat its stakeholders. CEO and Co-Founder Bart Lorang gained substantial media attention when he introduced “Paid Paid Vacation” (PPV) as a benefit for his employees. Under the policy, employees who completely disconnected from work during a vacation each year were paid an additional $7,500 to fund the trip. Lorang came up with the policy after realizing that he was unable to leave work behind while on vacation, a problem he wanted to fix. For Lorang, the PPV policy embodied his care for employees and helped to ensure that Full Contact had no single point of failure; that is, employees had to share information consistently in order to make sure progress continued in their absences. In addition, the benefit helped to attract, motivate, and retain employees in a competitive technology labor market.
The case prompts students to examine the organizational culture of FullContact and consider
how employee benefits reflect and reinforce that culture. In addition, students consider the
usefulness of PPV in attracting, motivating, and retaining employees and evaluate whether the
policy fits with the company mission.
In completing this assignment, students should be able to:
1. Apply Schein’s model of organization culture to an existing organization
2. Examine the connection between employee benefits and organization culture
3. Analyze how employee benefits attract, motivate, and retain the right employees for an organization’s culture
4. Evaluate whether a particular employee benefit is appropriate given an organization’s mission
This case is most appropriate for undergraduate courses in leadership and human resource management, including courses on compensation, organizational culture, and culture change.