“We have had the sales and marketing staff rent a house on the sunshine coast one hour from Vancouver to develop marketing collateral,” says company president and MD Robin Adams. “In December I met with all the directors of our schools at our school in Hawaii and this was an amazing productive place to work.”
Others use alternative methods to foster global inclusivity, such as Navitas with its Global Corporate Challenge – a 16-week health and exercise programme, in which more than 350 staff participate from around the world. “It really helped to foster a sense of inclusion and teamwork among participants, as well as some friendly competition,” says Jones.
While such measures may bring staff closer together, they do not replace tangible efforts to build skills and career prospects – key to keeping employees loyal and motivated. Many companies say incentives such a bonuses and internal promotion are important in this regard; others cite industry-specific perks, such as being given the opportunity to work in a foreign branch.
Navitas has its Global Corporate Challenge – a 16-week health and exercise programme, in which more than 350 staff participate
Training is also vital, simultaneously keeping staff happy while fortifying a company. Hult offers a good example with its yearly professional development training sessions, which encompass teamwork and individual development components.
CES meanwhile pays for staff to take DELTAs, workshops and other development programmes. ELS also offers many scholarships for instructors to pursue higher teaching credentials and even co-runs a degree programme which staff can access at a discount. Added to this it pays membership to TESOL for select job roles and recognises employee excellence through its Excellence in Teaching Awards.
CES staff on a regular team building night out
Despite the reams of literature available on corporate motivation, it remains an inexact science, and it is hard to measure how much difference it makes to employees and employers. However, all the companies that participated in this article said that their motivation strategies were paying off.
Navitas for example, claims a high 80% of its staff feel a sense of accomplishment from their work. The Centre of English Studies meanwhile says the training it offers can prevent teachers from flitting between countries and schools – a perennial challenge in the ELT industry.
“Hawaii was an amazing productive place to work”
Safe to say, as international education grows and staff become evermore important assets to companies, investment in motivation will continue apace. “A person is more likely to stay with an organisation if they have a good manager who they believe is contributing to their professional development, and they are more likely to leave if they don’t feel their manager is investing in them,” Bergland surmises. “So investment is essential, whether or not we are in a growth phase.”