Digital agency Traction is introducing a new work benefit called "Days of Action" that provides up to two paid days each year to "participate in our democracy—however they see fit," says Adam Kleinberg, CEO, Traction.
"They can march on Washington, volunteer at Planned Parenthood or some other organization that had its funding cut off or be a poll worker.”
This new policy was driven by agency employees, says Kleinberg. "After the election, people who voted against Trump were publicly mourning all over their social feeds. We wanted to take a minute and be thoughtful about how we responded—and we wanted to put our money where our mouth is."
Still, it was a key challenge to design the program to be a meaningful benefit to any employee regardless of political views, while at the same time maintaining a clear distinction from other companies that offer Volunteer Time Off (VTO) policies.
Kleinberg worked closely with Jennifer Gaddini, who oversees HR, to author a policy that is specifically worded to allow room for interpretation. "Let’s face it—we’re a mid-size, independent creative agency in San Francisco—few, if any, of our current employees are fans of the current administration," says Kleinberg. "But it would be hypocritical to introduce a policy that wasn’t inclusive of diverse ideas and beliefs. We’re not advocating a political stance here—we’re promoting the idea of taking an active role in democracy."
Kleinberg added, "We wanted to balance sustainability with impact. One day just didn’t
seem like enough. Two incremental days of PTO is a significant cost to any business—let alone one that makes a living off of billable hours—but we felt it was worth it."