With a gym that takes up almost an entire floor of its new 15-story office tower in South Bank, a global corporate Healthwise business and four successful brands dedicated to the wellbeing of its people – Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) knows how important a healthy workforce is to its bottom line.
Maintaining the mental, physical and financial health of employees is a key driver for increasing work productivity and employee engagement, according to the travel group’s management.
The coporate newcomer to South Bank, yesterday hosted around 60 guests in its new global HQ on Grey Street. With breathtaking views over the Brisbane River, guests enjoyed a light breakfast and tour of the building. This was followed by a group activity and valuable insight into how FCTG sustains high employee engagment rates.
Guests were from an array of national and global companies, with a majority in human resources and organisational development roles.
Based on the theme of helping businesses to be ‘Healthy, Wealthy and Wise’, the event showcased FCTG’s firm commitment to its people through the development of the company’s brands – GoldMind, Healthwise, Moneywise and Travel Club.
“The Flight Centre Travel group has 83% employee engagement, which is three times the national average, which sits at about 23%,” FCTG’s Executive General Manager Corporate, Andrew Flannery said.
“The culture of the organisation is based on 10 core philosophies that govern how we support employees and enable them to grow personally and professionally. These philosophies guide everything we do - from how we structure our operations in respect to our family, village and tribe model, our culture of egalitarism and unity, and above all our commitment to our employees’ health and wellbeing, development and financial security.”
The story behind the growth and development of FCTG, which globally operates more than 40 different businesses and employs an estimated 20,000 staff has been detailed throughout the company’s new office as part of the ‘FCTG Travel Museum’. The museum is integrated throughout the building, with colourful content decorating the walls around the lifts on all floors.
General Manager of GoldMind Melissa Armstrong kicked off the morning’s sit-down session with an introduction to the company’s brand which stands by the motto of ‘unearthing the riches in your people’. Mrs Armstrong went on to say GoldMind had been working with the likes of Dominos, Harcourts and AP Eagers, helping organisations with unique solutions for enhanced learning and development, providing keynote speakers and consulting.
Mark Hodgsons, who heads up the company’s Moneywise business went on to tell the group that an estimated 50% of the Australian workforce suffered from financial stress at some point during a 12 month period. He told the story of a woman at the Flight Centre group, who was under severe financial hardship due to sky-high credit card debts and 11 years of incomplete tax returns.
“How does someone under this much financial pressure perform at work? Mr Hodgsons asked the group. “Can we really expect people to be able to perform well and be productive when they are suffering from severe financial anxiety?
“Moneywise is about educating your staff on how to effectively manage their money and take control of their finances.”
A similar feel-good story was told by Kate Laird from the company’s Australian Healthwise division. Known as ‘Killer’ the petite blonde said one of the business’s best known stories was of a grandmother who came to FCTG’s Healthwise trainers asking for help. She weighed 150kgs.
Kate said the team really got behind the staff member who went on to complete the 21km Gold Coast marathon and has now lost an impressive 75kgs.
The last of the guest speakers was the company’s head of specialist corporate brands Danielle Galloway – who has been with the company for 16 years. After starting as a chartered accountant, Mrs Galloway now overseas seven of FCTG’s specialist corporate travel businesses.
Mrs Galloway spoke about Travel Club – FCTG’s exclusive holiday leisure service offered exclusively to FCTG’s corporate customers.
“Companies are continually trying to reduce their stockpile of annual leave to improve their bottom line – Travel Club’s exclusive deals help to support our corporate clients that are keen to drive the ‘no leave no life policy’ to prevent professional burnout.
“By offering leisure travel services that are easily accessible and cost efficient companies are not only actively encouraging a healthy work life balance and supporting a positive attitude to leave but they are also protecting themselves against financial risk.”
FCTG has some of the longest serving employees in the private sector and Mr Flannery said this was because the company actively invested in its people.
“When people feel valued for the work they do, have opportunities to grow personally and professionally – it makes an employer extremely appealing. I truly believe that FCTG’s focus on its people is why the company has such high engagement. Through these specialist brands we are sharing our own unique recipe to success with other organisations, which we hope they gain from also,” he said.
Campus Travel Account Manager Tom Smith and Maggie Hibbs from The University of Queensland at the Healthy, Wealthy and Wise event
ENDS. For more information contact Sally Gordon 0412 492 433.