When it comes to making smokers quit, it hasn’t been an easy task. Health agencies and businesses all around the globe have been at it for quite some time now, and it seems that results don’t depict the huge amounts of effort being put into the ‘don’t smoke’ campaign.
People still smoke as a habit. In fact, the more programs are released on behalf of the ‘don’t smoke,’ the more people tend to smoke.
This is a problem that affects everyone as there are just as many hooked smokers in the US as they are Internationally. But until recently the major approach to combat this societal menace has been to punish smokers.
A Japanese firm is beginning to look at this problem differently. It has decided to encourage smokers to quit by giving an incentive to its non-smoking staff.
And the incentive?
Yes, as you may have guessed from the headline of this article, this firms non-smoking staff gets an extra six days added to their annual holiday.
Piala Inc, as the company is called is a marketing firm based in Tokyo, Japan. As telegraph reported, they are rewarding their non-smoking staff since a certain incident occurred.
In this particular incident, an employee had laid a complaint saying that fellow smoking employees had allowed their productivity to suffer as they had long smoke breaks. And since the company was situated on the 29th floor, smokers would take long periods of time to go out for a puff. This increased the smoking breaks and hence hampered productivity.
When management was alerted to what was going on, they came up with a brilliant idea. Since their smoking staff could smoke at their own discretion, punishing them for that wasn’t going to change much – regarding discouraging them from smoking. Instead, they were going to reward non-smoking staff for their abstinence from cigarettes.
They would have more vacation time.
And you might ask ”How did this firm conclude that six days was just about right? Or ”Was the number picked at random?
Well, I can tell you for sure that the later wasn’t the case. In fact, the process was intentional.
And so this is how they did it.
They found out that the time that their smoking staff wasted was adding up. So much that by the year’s end they had six days of lag time on them.
And so to make it up for their non-smoking staff, they decided to give them that annual lag time as rest days.
Speaking to Telegraph about this creative solution, Hirotaka Matsushima – a spokesman for Piala, said that this was an idea that was suggested by staff in-house.
“Our CEO saw the comment and agreed, so we are giving non-smokers some extra time off to compensate.”
And since this policy has been implemented everyone seems to be okay with it.
And the results have started pouring in. About 25% of the company’s staff have started using their extra holiday. And as much as the non-smoking staff are major benefactors to this new development, some smokers are also included.
About four staff members have quit smoking to join in the fun.
Sitting in an interview with Kyodo News, the CEO said: “I hope to encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives rather than penalties or coercion.”
This is such a breath of fresh air from the bland MOD of punishing victims of smoking addiction. And for this to come from the management of business makes this development all the more exciting.
This is the anomaly, many a time, execs and top management usually show apathy to such conditions as this plaguing their staff.
It also speaks to the fact that Piala is a company with healthy workplace culture. One that has created a platform whereby an employee can express his/her pain to the employer and not get scared of not being heard or taken for granted.
And this will lead to higher productivity in the long run for the company and staff.
We hope that this technique will be adopted across the board for all types of addictions. By showing – and not just telling, victims of addiction that there is a better life outside their addiction, we take one step forward in curing them.