Nike takes the week off

Discussion
Photo: Nike
Aug 16, 2022

Nike has closed its corporate and Air MI offices this week to give its employees time off to recharge their batteries.

Nike’s “Well-Being Week” is in its second year at the athletic wear brand and has the endorsement of the company’s EVP, chief human resources officer, Monique Matheson.

Ms. Matheson wrote last week in a post on LinkedIn that the first year of Nike’s new tradition was enormously popular with staff.

Because everyone was away at the same time, teammates said they could unplug — really unplug, without worrying about what was happening back at the office or getting anxiety about the emails piling up” she wrote. “And because we could all truly disconnect, our time away was more restorative. That’s certainly what I experienced.”

Nike is not shutting down its consumer-direct business, either online or in stores, for the week, but the company is not leaving its warehouse and retail staff out of its well-being equation.

“We’re giving teammates in our retail stores and distribution centers a week’s worth of paid Well-Being Days off they can use when it’s convenient for them,” Ms. Matheson wrote.

Well-Being Week was a creation, in many ways, of the pandemic.

Matt Marrazzo, director, paid & earned marketing insights for Nike, last year wrote a LinkedIn post ahead of the first Well-Being Week.

“In a year (or two) unlike any other, taking time for rest and recovery is key to performing well and staying sane. This past year has been rough — we’re all human! and living through a traumatic event! — but I’m hopeful that the empathy and grace we continue to show our teammates will have a positive impact on the culture of work moving forward.”

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Does giving corporate offices vacation at the same time have advantages or disadvantages compared to traditional individual times off?  Do you see opportunities for other companies in the consumer brand and retailing space to institute something similar to Nike’s “Well-Being Week”?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"Employee burnout is affecting more than half of today’s corporate workforce... Nike’s 'Well-Being Week' is well timed and planned to show compassion and care for employees."
"Gotta love this. Very European of Nike to do this. And smart. And kind. And long term good for the business."
"I like it. Employees have clearly demonstrated that they will simply walk if they’re not well taken care of. In a business like Nike’s it’s good to treat them well."

Join the Discussion!

11 Comments on "Nike takes the week off"


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Peter Charness
BrainTrust

As long as the customer side of business is taken care of, this is a great plan. Several European countries have always clustered leave for all employees more or less at the same time, and this allows everyone to disconnect completely without worrying about non stop emails accumulating, or needing to be dealt with while on holidays. There is no FOMO lurking in the back of your mind.

Jeff Sward
BrainTrust

Gotta love this. Very European of Nike to do this. And smart. And kind. And long term good for the business.

Georganne Bender
BrainTrust

We’re evolving, aren’t we? I kind of love this, and I wholeheartedly agree that when no one else is working it’s easier to relax and de-stress.

I am a little jealous. Even when we close the office someone still has to answer the phone and respond to email. Who is taking care of business? Surely, there is a client somewhere who needs help.

Shep Hyken
BrainTrust

This is the kind of perk that makes employees want to stay. And, knowing they can’t completely shut the entire company down, I like the way they are compensating the distribution and retail store employees. Everybody gets some version of the perk.

Dick Seesel
BrainTrust

The only downside I see is the chance that your mandated week off (if you work for Nike) may not coincide with your spouse or partner’s company vacation schedule. Otherwise, it’s a good idea — especially if it allows everyone to unplug at the same time instead of checking emails daily (or more) during a vacation.

I have some family members who work for MLB (or used to work for one of its teams) and there seems to be an industry-wide shutdown over the year-end holidays. Part of the motivation seems to be competitive — so one baseball team doesn’t try to one-up another with a trade or free agent signing during the time off — but part of the rationale may be the same as Nike’s. Let everyone recharge at the same time.

Gary Sankary
BrainTrust

I like the idea. As a guy who has never taken (acknowledge my fault) a vacation on which I didn’t spend at least some time every day making calls and looking at email, I like the idea of really being able to disconnect and not worry about what’s happening back at the office. I just hope that this is one week, and employees still have the flexibility to take other weeks as needed.

Karen S. Herman
BrainTrust

Employee burnout is affecting more than half of today’s corporate workforce according to recent studies. Given this data, Nike’s “Well-Being Week” is well timed and well planned to show compassion and care for employees. Truly disconnecting can only be achieved en masse and Nike being in tune with employees gets this fact. Nike’s “Well-Being Week” offers holistic advantages for employees and reflects a caring culture.

Ricardo Belmar
BrainTrust

Having been part of organizations that grant an end-of-year shutdown during the week between Christmas and New Year, I can attest to how successful this can be at ensuring you have happy employees that are recharged from spending time with family and ready to jump back into work when they return with a renewed vigor. I applaud Nike’s approach to a summer recharge and hope that other retailers and consumer brands embrace this idea. It also reminds me of REI’s #optoutside campaign during the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s indicative of retailers and brands that openly demonstrate how they place their employees’ interests first, recognizing that doing so will result in better performance from everyone in the long-term!

Paula Rosenblum
BrainTrust

I like it. Employees have clearly demonstrated that they will simply walk if they’re not well taken care of. In a business like Nike’s it’s good to treat them well.

Patricia Vekich Waldron
Staff

REI led the way with company-wide well being, closing stores and giving everyone Black Friday off. I think it’s a great concept when all parts of the organization benefit in equivalent ways.

Jbrandonpowell
Guest
1 month 12 days ago

“We’re giving teammates in our retail stores and distribution centers a week’s worth of paid Well-Being Days off they can use when it’s convenient for them,” Ms. Matheson wrote.

I wonder if there is an expiration date on those hours? I also wonder how many Retail employees can realistically actually take the “Well-Being” days off? From what I’m seeing in my travels is Nike and Nike owned retail stores are still having staffing issues so while the Well-Being Week is a good thought, I would really be interested in the reality of how it plays out for retail workers.

Let’s see them put their money where their mouth (read PR/HR departments) is and actually close stores for a week. Even just a Monday — Thursday shutdown would really make the point.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"Employee burnout is affecting more than half of today’s corporate workforce... Nike’s 'Well-Being Week' is well timed and planned to show compassion and care for employees."
"Gotta love this. Very European of Nike to do this. And smart. And kind. And long term good for the business."
"I like it. Employees have clearly demonstrated that they will simply walk if they’re not well taken care of. In a business like Nike’s it’s good to treat them well."

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