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Fighting Employee Burnout: Will The Weebly Wanderlust Method Work For Your Company?

Not everyone can afford a six-week break

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BY Lian Kyla Dyogi - 17 May 2017

employee burnout

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Whether it’s flexible work hours or team “unplug” sessions, as Vietnamese start-up Perkfec does, there is an entire buffet of practices start-ups can choose from to prevent employee burnout.

David Foo, co-founder of Graaab JaGaApp—a Malaysian app that optimizes a community’s security and communications—shares they have a pantry stocked with food and “a ping-pong table for relaxation. Not to mention Nerf guns for the boys to shoot at each other!”

Djoann Fal, co-founder and CEO of Thailand-based tech hiring marketplace GetLinks, says, “After seeing a popular music clip on a yacht, all our team were secretly dreaming of going on a yacht. Figuring that out three months ago myself, we took all our team for a one-day trip on a yacht to celebrate the big milestone that we’d have celebrated with lunch or dinner otherwise.”

But what to do when these methods aren’t working? Maybe do as Weebly does.

The “Weebly Wanderlust” Method

In this Inc.com article, Betsy Mikel writes about Weebly’s “Weebly Wanderlust,” the website builder’s newest program to fight employee burnout. True to its name, it’s a six-week paid sabbatical where employees throughout the company get a plane ticket to any international destination.

“Weebly just launched the program, and employees are already cashing in. One is taking his family on an epic trip across Europe. Another is swapping homes with a family in Japan for a month. Others have booked family trips to Italy and France,” writes Mikel.

The catch? Employees need to have worked with Weebly for five years. As Mikel writes, it is an interesting effort to attract top employees to stay long-term, but is it for everyone?

“Weebly’s method is awesome,” says Fal.

Foo, on the other hand, says the six-week sabbatical might be a bit too extreme and long for Southeast Asian companies and employees. “An occasional short break works better in my opinion,” he says, emphasizing that the length of the break is not as important as the time spent actively disconnected from work and doing something you enjoy.

Zad Ngor, co-founder of Perkfec, thinks Weebly Wanderlust is a good initiative. “But the question is, how many employees would stay in a company for more than 5 years? Employee benefits is only a part of the whole solution to improving employee engagement and retention. The real problem for Weebly and many other companies is how to keep talent long enough so that they can enjoy some of the benefits provided,” he says.

The Unsexy Process of Employee Retention

Weebly’s six-week sabbatical is a sexy and attractive method to help retain top talent, but don’t be fooled by the glamour.

Employee retention can be more madness than method—whether it’s ensuring each team member is in a position they can grow in and feel passionate about or being realistic when delegating tasks, as Ngor shares they do at Perkfec. But don’t get so caught up in trying to retain top talent, because it’s the team, not the “I”, that makes the company.

As Fal says of his team’s one-day yacht trip, “It’s something expensive to accomplish alone, but when you have a team, you can achieve it. I think this is what essentially differentiates a ‘team’ from a ‘collaborator’ or a ‘co-worker.’ After all, it’s not about fighting employee burnout, but empowering the team as one single unit.”