Queensland-based specialist procurement consulting firm Caliba Group has introduced unlimited paid leave for staff under a commitment to be a ‘people not policy-driven company’.
Three months of paid parental leave and 12 funded sessions with a mental health counsellor are also being offered to employees of the company. Caliba Group is a procurement consultancy with services assisting organisations in the Heavy Industry and Healthcare sectors.
While flexible leave packages are becoming more common in the consulting profession, Caliba Group principal Felix Kong admits that ‘ripping up the rule book’ is rare for the procurement industry.
“We wanted to respond to what our team was telling us matters to them and acknowledge that life in the second decade of the 21st century is very different to when a lot of standard corporate policies were written,” said Mr Kong.
“There are so many types of leave now, some of them legislated and some of them just good business practice.
“We believe it should be easy and comfortable for people to take leave when they need it, for however long they need it, and for whatever reason, if it means they return to work refreshed and recovered, physically and mentally,” Mr Kong said.
Consult Australia’s Industry Health Check Pulse Survey report released last month confirmed the top challenges for consulting are recruitment (63%), retention (48%) and work/life balance (50%).
With burnout widely reported as costing the Australian economy $14 billion a year, increased flexibility around working conditions is one way Caliba Group can attract new staff while supporting its existing teams through the peaks and troughs of project work.
“After researching global trends, we realised that we already have one of the key success factors for adopting unlimited paid leave as a strong feature of our company culture, and that’s trust,” said Mr Kong.
“We know we can trust our people to be fair and responsible with the new leave arrangements.
“We trust our project managers to recognise when a team member needs a break from ensuring our clients are achieving the best savings and to redistribute workloads accordingly.
“Our clients trust us to deliver what we promise, and that means doing what we can to keep our people on top of their game.“