Usually employees who are invited to pack their bags would be a bad thing. But at Collette Vacations, it’s an opportunity to learn more about the trips the company sells.
Jeni Wilson, Collette’s vice president of human resources, said offering discounted vacations to employees and FAM, or “Familiarization,” time off, serves two purposes. One, it gives employees a chance to become familiar with the products Collette sells without them having to tap into vacation time – and not least – it is certainly a nice perk for staffers and their families.
“We have [more than] 150 different products,” said Wilson. Discounted trips for employees are “at minimum at cost, and can go down from there.”
The perks serve as a valuable recruiting tool and ensure that if new hires don’t love travel, they soon will. “When I hire, I seem to see two types of employees,” she said, “a young adult who hasn’t had much exposure to travel and becomes passionate about it, or those who already have the travel bug.”
In addition to 10 days’ vacation time, 10 days’ FAM time, and family and friends’ discounts is a new fitness facility, currently under construction. Collette is revamping a nearby house into a free gym for employees and their families, Wilson said.
The company also encourages giving back: employees can take four hours of company time for a volunteer venture each month.
Collette offers employees ways to become well-traveled, physically healthy, community-minded citizens – and gives them the tools to accomplish all three. •
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