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http://www.chinapost.com.tw/taiwan-busi ... ompany.htm
Local company asks workers to take trips
Monday, June 21, 2010
The China Post news staff
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A company based in central Taiwan from the leisure and recreation industry provides employees with an additional 11 paid days off and asks them to travel in return, a local newspaper reported yesterday.
Lavender Cottage, founded in November 2001 by a former banker and piano teacher, started a cafe with a field of lavenders in Taichung County. Today, the group manages five different brands, totaling 11 stores in Taiwan, as well as Japan, according to the Apple Daily.
According to Huang Xiao-jin, the company's sales and marketing manager, the two founders'management style excludes punishment and scolding, and promotes setting annual goals or themes for their employees.
Huang said this year is the company's"Traveling Year,"adding that staff members are encouraged to travel during the bonus days off, which are given in addition to their annual leaves and national holidays.
Out of the 11 days, employees may plan their own trips according to personal preferences for seven days, but they must tour around in the city they work in for two days to advance their knowledge of the place, Huang added.
Employees are also required to go on "brand tours," visiting a store of the company that is located in a different city to the one they work for, she added.
Should employees choose not to go on a trip during those"traveling days,"the company will deduct their salary, local media reported.
The employers will take off one full day's pay if their staff travels one less day from the total 11 days assigned for traveling, they added.
One of the store's managers, surnamed Chen, said that the percent of employees that left the company decreased from last year's first two quarters 10 percent to this year's 3 percent.
Even though employees' monthly pay average at between NT$20,000 and NT$30,000, Lavender Cottage receives a large amount of applications every time they're recruiting, local reporters said.
And many of them were past customers, they added.
Academics told local reporters that they think the company's approach is healthy.
Working in an industry that involves long working hours and creates a lot of stress requires a good amount of rest and time to relax, experts said.
It may be one of the best ways to better employees'overall performance at work, they added.
An employee of Lavender Cottage, surnamed Lin, 26, has gone on nearly 30 trips within the past six months, she told local reporters.
Lin said she's traveled within the country and went abroad as well to Japan and Korea.
She is grateful of the benefits that come along with working for the company, local media reported.
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