We can all agree that the world probably has more promotional mugs, pens and stress balls than it will ever need.
And as much as employees appreciate the company-branded fridge magnet freebees, most would much rather that investment is made elsewhere.
At ICD and The People Project (TPP), that elsewhere has a name. It’s called China, and it’s where employees go to learn about the heritage of ICD, walk the Great Wall, and devour a dish or two.
No strings attached, no questions asked, the fully sponsored trips are about investing in staff through learning about the company’s history.
The belief is that to thrive on the present and look to the future, you’ve got to understand your heritage.
Every ICD project represents a legacy that was started when Chairman Michael Mai arrived in Australia from China at the tender age of 15.
That first decade and a half helped to shape Mai into the man that would go on to create one of Australia’s most innovative and successful development businesses.
The trips run every 12 months and have no impact on annual leave. It includes a stellar line-up of stops including Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Shenzhen.
Shenzhen is particularly special to the staff of ICD as it houses the headquarters of China International Marine Containers (CIMC), a world-leading supplier of logistics and energy equipment. Boliang Mai, Michael Mai’s father, is CEO.
It comes as no surprise that staff that have been on these cultural tours come back feeling inspired and ready to take ICD to the next level.
ICD IT Analyst Padraig Dignan returned from his China exchange earlier this year.
“ICD is an Australian company with Chinese influence, and it is great to get an understanding of their culture, customs and economy,” he said.
“Reading about China only offers so much. It is only when you visit that you can really immerse yourself in their way of living and this understanding is sure to have a positive impact on existing and future relationships.”
Of course, the Great Wall and yummy food – if not a little unconventional – wasn’t too bad either.
“I even tried the scorpions at the market,” Padraig said.
“It wasn’t until I was on the way up the mountain via a cable car that I began to appreciate the sheer scale of the Wall. It is mind-blowing.”
TPP People Development Manager Hayley Randall said the ICD sponsored trips are a worthy investment.
“Far from another ballpoint pen that you’re sure to lose anyway, this trip gives our staff an opportunity to understand the heritage of ICD and be even prouder of who we are,” she said.
TPP. Engage. Produce. Grow.
Our culture is based on the exchange of good ideas and constant dialogue between all members. If you share our egalitarian and creative approach to work (and life), contact us today.
Level 18, 303 Collins Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Level 19, 233 Castlereagh Street
Sydney NSW 2000