Next Friday I won’t be anywhere near my desk or my computer. Will I be taking a vacation day? No. Am I taking a personal day? Nope. I won’t be at my desk or near my computer next Friday because next Friday – July 8th, 2011 – is my 43rd birthday. At Skeleton Key, no matter how hard we’re working to keep our business growing and our services innovative, we have at least one, set-in-stone, crystal-clear, it-will-never-change policy, and it’s about birthdays:
Now this may not seem like much of a perk, but I’ve been truly surprised by how few people deliberately take off their own birthday, and I’ve yet to run into another company that automatically extends this benefit to their employees. In fact, as you can see from the picture below I’m not the only Skeleton Key team member celebrating next week:
Happy Birthday Alan! I started this tradition in my own life many years ago, when I realized the very last thing I wanted to do on my birthday was get anything constructive done. Don’t get me wrong – I love my job, my team is second-to-none, and I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to say that for the past seven (7) years, but if I had to pick between reading a great book, or having a tickle-fight with my kids, or going for a swim VS. writing one more email, or answering one more phone call, or going to one more (very productive and informative) meeting… well, as you can see, the choice is an easy one to make. So, here’s a pair of unsolicited suggestions for you:
- Take your birthday off every year. You won’t regret it.
- If you run your own company, consider adopting this policy. Your people will love it.
… and feel free to send me happy birthday wishes on Twitter, facebook or LinkedIn. It would make my day to see the push notifications coming across my iPhone, especially as I’m sipping a cocktail poolside 😉