Why taking 350 people to Ibiza makes good business sense
Investing in company trips abroad, training budgets and employee benefits pays dividends for businesses, explains MVF CEO Michael Teixeira
2017 will mark the third year that MVF has offered the chance for its entire staff to go to Ibiza for the weekend.
In May, everyone who chooses to go will be flown to Europe’s most popular party destination for three days of sun, sea and celebrations with their colleagues in recognition of hitting our targets for the year.
When we had just over 100 staff this seemed a fairly reasonable proposition to most people I told, but three years later our numbers have reached almost 400 and we have offices in the UK and US – the question I am increasingly asked by fellow people in business is ‘Why?!’
In addition to the financial outlay, organising the trip this time involves four flights, a chartered plane, hundreds of consent forms, taking over a whole hotel for three nights – and I am sure many sleepless nights for our excellent social committee – but to me, the trip is one of the most important investments for our business.
This might seem like a strange thing for a CEO to say, but I see this as a business expenditure like any other and for us, the investment pays dividends. Here's why:
Rallying behind a common goal
The clearest benefit of organising this trip is that in order to secure it, we have to hit our targets. Every business has aims and objectives but being able to use the carrot rather than the stick to get people behind our goals is brilliant.
At every monthly town hall meeting instead of threatening teams with deadlines and performance reviews, we put up a picture of a boat bathed in sun, bobbing on the sea alongside our financial target – and you wouldn’t believe what a motivator that is.
Our staff leave these sessions excited to make extra calls, develop new strategies and increase output – they rally each other along because the outcome is not just numbers on a spreadsheet, but a cocktail in your hand.
Breaking down barriers
An important aspect that this trip brings to our business, and perhaps the most obvious one, is the social benefit.
In a fast moving cross-channel digital marketing business it is vital that teams communicate and share their learnings to stay ahead of the competition.
This can be difficult with an average of 20 new people joining the business each month and offices set over three sites and two continents.
Getting everyone together in an informal setting has made communication across teams a lot easier and means people can put faces to names, making them much more likely to seek people out for a meeting when they get back to the office.
The other benefit of having infamous company perks is that word travels and top talent seeks you out. Of course, really great talent won’t be swayed entirely by rooftop bars, personal trainers and birthday massages (all of which we offer) – we also provide virtually unparalleled career progression, world class training and award winning teams.
But, if you are a graduate choosing between two similar opportunities, the company with the big company-wide trip to Ibiza might just win it.
Putting money back
Perhaps the aspect that is most important to me about offering these perks is the message it sends to employees.
When we hit big targets, instead of giving bonuses to those at the top or throwing exclusive parties for the directors, everyone in the company celebrates together.
We all get the same perks, the same recognition, and any extra profit is channelled back into the people who made it happen – our staff.
Chief finance officers have a reputation for being the ones to close the purse, to trim the costs and focus on profit, but the real skill comes in working out where the value is in your business and investing in it.
We could cut down on the perks we offer and save money, but then we might risk losing our biggest asset – our world-class teams.
At MVF we know that the most important currency we have is our staff, and that is why as CFO, it is something I will continue to invest in.
Can't afford to take your staff to Ibiza? Here are some ideas of what you can offer instead
Of course, not all business owners reading this will have the budget to take all staff on a trip to Ibiza so I've highlighted a number of additional perks and benefits that we offer employees at MVF – and that you could implement too:
- Free breakfasts every morning
- Personal training, boxing, yoga, football, badminton etc. free of charge
- Opportunity to start any social club, funded by MVF
- Flexible and remote working options
- £1,000 training budget for every member of staff
- Two charity days for an employee to spend volunteering for a charity of their choice
- Two duvet days
- Regular company-wide socials
- Mentoring scheme
- Unlimited book allowance
- Monthly free company-wide lunches
- Cycle to work scheme
- MVF Fest – a party in the woods!
Michael Teixeira is CEO of MVF, the customer generation and online acquisition specialist recently named ‘The best place to work in London' by The Sunday Times.