2 Million Days of Action
By Adam Kleinberg
Almost three years ago, Traction introduced an HR policy called Days of Action, giving our employees two days of paid leave to participate in our democracy however they see fit.
I wrote a blog post about it that went viral, and we soon found ourselves in the middle of a firestorm.
Despite our civic engagement policy being specifically non-partisan, some people—well, actually hundreds of thousands of people—took it to be anti-Trump and trolled our company viciously online. Others lauded us for our leadership and dozens of companies—including some very big ones—reached out to tell us that we inspired them to create civic engagement benefit policies of their own.
Today, the murder of George Floyd—and so many other black Americans over the past several years—makes it clear that government on its own simply does not have the political will to make change happen. I look on LinkedIn and see business leaders making statements about the need for change... It's time to put your money where your mouth is. It's time for "Corporate Social Responsibility" to take on a greater meaning. It's time for Action.
Help make real change—from our two Days of Action at Traction to our collective two MILLION Days of Action from collective businesses around the country. Corporations need to be part of the solution. Women's rights in this country were born of protest. Civil rights were born of protest. Gay rights were born of protest.
Business benefits from the freedom of capitalism. It benefits from the freedom of democracy. It's time to give back—not just to the parts of democracy that allow business to create profit, but to the whole damn thing. Business leaders—if you want to make an impact, consider a Days of Action policy. Support your peoples' right to play a role in our democracy and demand change in our community.
Below is the HR policy that Traction created for our employees. Steal it verbatim. Let it inspire you to write your own. Email us at email@example.com to let us know you're committed to Days of Action and help us create a movement. Because standing still just isn't acceptable any more.
Days of Action Policy
In Barack Obama's farewell speech to the American people, he told us:
"It falls to each of us to be those anxious, jealous guardians of our democracy; to embrace the joyous task we've been given to continually try to improve this great nation of ours. Because for all our outward differences, we all share the same proud title: Citizen.
Ultimately, that's what our democracy demands. It needs you. Not just when there's an election, not just when your own narrow interest is at stake, but over the full span of a lifetime ... Show up. Dive in. Persevere."
It's a crazy world out there. Regardless of your political beliefs, we all have an opportunity and a responsibility to take civic action to help make the world a better place.
In the spirit of having a voice and using it for what we believe in, Traction has implemented "Days of Action." This policy encourages employees to take up to 2 paid (business) days or 16 hours each year to contribute to our democracy. Whether it's participating in a political rally, volunteering at the local Food Bank, or helping out the Boys and Girls Club—we support you. Your action is needed, and together it can move mountains.
*Traction does not condone or tolerate violence, vandalism or destruction of property of any kind.
In order to be eligible for this benefit, you must be employed by Traction for at least 90 days
Requesting "Days of Action" Paid Time Off:
Examples of eligible Actions:
Examples of ineligible Actions:
The Fine Print:
Days of Action request(s) for time off will not include participating in acts of violence, vandalism or destruction of property. To the extent that circumstances either make or threaten to make the continued engagement of an activity, or the atmosphere around such an activity, violent or unlawful, for their own safety and the well-being of others, employees shall remove themselves from the area immediately.
Should any proposed activity carry with it the potential for political undertones, employees are requested to refrain from wearing or openly carrying any items with the name or logo of any Traction client.
No volunteer or community service activity shall be credited to the extent such service is required of the employee by any outside entity in order to obtain any personal benefit for the employee or to discharge any legal obligation.
- Submit your request into our PTO system as soon as possible. To avoid any intentional or unintentional bias, you do not need to describe the organization or cause that you will be taking action on
- In your request, acknowledge that you will not participate in violence, vandalism or destruction of property during your Days of Action
- Your manager will review your request and will base their decision on the timing and needs of the business
- Volunteering as a poll worker
- Canvassing for a candidate
- Beach or park clean up
- Volunteering at your local hospital, animal shelter, nursing home or rehab center
- Participating in a peaceful march or demonstration
- Volunteering at your child's school
- Attending a professional or personal interest event
- Community Service hours to pay off your parking tickets
Last Friday, Traction hosted a Roundtable Zoom session with a group of CMOs and other senior marketers from brands big and small to discuss the challenges and opportunities of finding a silver lining in a downturn.
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