Nationally recognized as one of the best workplaces for its innovative hiring and retention programs, Vincit USA CEO Ville Houttu was recently featured on the renowned Adam Grant WorkLife podcast. As many companies grapple with the current workforce turnover ‘tsunami’, Grant invited Houttu onto the program to discuss Vincit USA’s “CEO of the Day” program which provides an opportunity for employee’s to make an operational decision that is implemented company-wide. This one-of-a-kind program provides employees with a chance to improve their workplace, with access to an unlimited budget and no veto power from Vincit leadership.
Organizational psychologist Adam Grant hosts the top-rated WorkLife podcast, focused on examining non-traditional ways of working while exploring the science behind why it succeeds. Grant, a New York Times best-selling author, is an expert on motivation and helping others find meaning in their creative lives. He also focuses on the emotions and mental obstacles that impact the way we work and has collaborated with Google, the NBA, and the U.S. Army to improve their employee’s work life.
During his discussion with Grant on the ‘Rethinking Flexibility at Work’ episode, Houttu shared background on the genesis of the program, his willingness to embrace the risk and ultimately why he was compelled to launch this innovative program to empower employees to enact long term change within the company. This focus on work-life balance by Vincit USA, and Houttu, stems directly from its roots in Finland where Vincit was founded, a country that is often lauded for its employee-centric operational models.
“Four years ago, one of our software engineers sent me a calendar invite to his annual review with the subject line ‘promote John to CEO’,” said Houttu in his segment. “I thought, why not so I made him CEO for the day, what’s the worst that could happen. When I told him, he thought I was joking, but then took the time to research and consult with other employees to come to his ultimate decision. I trusted him to make a big decision and he trusted me back not to judge his decision and that’s how it got started. From there, CEO of the Day was born and has been integral to our success here in the United States.”
To date, CEO of the Day implementations have included opening a small office library, providing everyone with a gym membership, creating a paid volunteer day and even establishing an employee sabbatical. Feedback from employees is overwhelmingly positive, even from those who haven’t been named CEO for the day.
In response to Houttu’s background on the program, Grant cited, “Why would anyone purposely and continuously put themselves in such a terrifying position and hand the over reins to their employees? Because giving people autonomy and flexibility is more than capes and crowns – it has real BENEFIT. And it doesn’t require an unlimited budget. But to give employees the freedom they crave, we need to reimagine what a flexible workplace looks like. Because it goes far beyond simply having the option to work from home.”
The CEO of the Day program has helped Vincit USA to rank on the Inc. 5000 list of the Fastest Growing Companies in the U.S. and ranked Top-50 Best Places to Work for Innovators in the United States by Fast Company. Vincit USA is a leading software development and design agency with operations in Phoenix, AZ and Orange County, CA. For more information about the CEO of the Day program and to listen to the Work Life Podcast here.
Founded in 2007, Vincit is a leading software development and design agency with offices in the United States, Finland, and Switzerland. Nationally recognized as one of the Best Workplaces for Innovators by Fast Company, Vincit’s success stems from satisfied customers and satisfied employees. Vincit is a listed company on Nasdaq First North under the ticker symbol “VINCIT.”