Well-being is key to keeping staff motivated and retaining them. Flight Centre Travel Group managing director Singapore, Suyin Lee, shares how employers can invest in staff well-being:
How does FCTG retain staff?
• Attention to detail Be mindful of employees’ needs, from their health and personal well-being to family and work-life balance. FCTG ensures comfortable and spacious workspaces, sufficient breakout areas for quiet time, pantries stocked with healthy snacks, casual Friday drink sessions in the office, and our Healthwise Fitness Studio provides personal training and group classes.
• Recognition Every employee should get recognition for hard work. Leaders need to take time to give recognition, from a compliment to a note of thanks. Each month, we organise a Buzz Night to celebrate the success and contributions of individuals who have far exceeded their targets and personal bests.
• Technology We work on automating manual and tedious processes so that our staff can focus on delivering an amazing customer experience. Utlisation of technology is key to improving our productivity.
• Bright future Employees should see a clear pathway to achieve their career goals through learning and development. Promotions and transfers ensure they continue to grow.
• Communication We welcome input from employees and maintain an open door policy by fostering a transparent and open culture. Everyone should feel comfortable in sharing their views and new ideas for improvement.
How does FCTG achieve this?
• Travel Academy Launching in 2017, the Travel Academy will allow the company to reach out to a wider pool of candidates in the travel industry and provide a platform for continuing professional education in the sector.
• Healthwise FCTG’s corporate health and wellness programme, Healthwise can help employers reduce the cost of absenteeism. In Australia, the programme reduced the average number of sick days taken by employees to 3.4 days, in comparison to the travel and hospitality industry average of 10.4 sick days.
FCTG has signed 18,000 employees up to Healthwise and estimates savings of A$30 million (US$21.3 million) over the past five years by reducing employee absenteeism.
What challenges are there and how can they be overcome?
• Participation Many young people do not see an exciting career in the travel industry. Having a quality travel education programme will be a step in the right direction but we need to promote the benefits of the travel sector jointly with industry bodies.
For Healthwise, getting employees to take the first step will be the greatest challenge. For example, FCTG Singapore launched a Step Challenge recently. Participants were provided with a Fitbit or step counter and the individual or team that walked the most steps in that month won a travel prize.
• Investment Financial investment, time and resources are needed for the successful implementation of these programmes and to ensure momentum is maintained.
Article written by Suyin Lee.