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Recognition Measured In Memories

Bruce MacLellan

There are many components of a good compensation plan, with a competitive salary, health benefits, and skills training being a few of the cornerstones.

As an entrepreneur, however, the ones that have always excited me are unconventional recognition components that create lifelong memories.

While a bonus program and generous training and development are nice, one of the most celebrated programs for our team members is our global travel fund that sends colleagues on bucket-list trips. This year, we collectively passed the milestone of one million kilometers traveled – twenty-five times around the world! These are experiences that will never be forgotten.

After five years, team members qualify for their first trip and can go anywhere. After eight years, another, but this time the destination must be Canadian. At later milestones, the funds are increased for more ambitious trips and a bonus of extra vacation time is added.

The value and impact are exponential. Spouses, partners or friends are taken along. Memories are created, whether it be time at the beach or tours of European capitals. Each trip celebrates an individual and their family and provides a new experience. Cash to help pay down a mortgage or renovate a kitchen is useful, but a trip to a new destination shared with a loved one becomes a lifetime memory.

These trips reflect our corporate culture. I’ve often found that those who succeed in their careers have open minds, seek learning opportunities and are keen to meet different people. We follow the motto “be uncomfortable”, as we know pushing beyond the comfort zone is when we really grow. What could be better than the adventure and uncertainty of travel?

Since trips are awarded based on time with the company, we are defying the conventional wisdom that people seek change and movement in their careers nowadays. While it could appear like an appealing benefit for millennials, who value travel, personal adventure and challenge seeking, every generation appreciates creating great memories from these adventures. Our turnover is below industry average as a result, and our travel rewards become icing on the cake.

We also like to keep it fresh. As a proudly Canadian company, we celebrated Canada 150 this year with a draw for ten colleagues to win cash for trips within Canada. Even a winning program needs to be reviewed from time to time but one thing is certain – our rewards are always designed to be unforgettable.

Experiences are the way we create memories with those we care about. If I can be a part of that, and help build memories for my employees, they’re not the only ones that reap the rewards. The company and a business’s corporate culture does as well.