How AC Group is keeping staff engaged as it grows

AC Group

AC Group is a wholesale tour operator for group travel in the UK and Ireland, and as of 2017 has expanded its operations into France. The organisation has seen rapid growth in recent years, and now has offices in the UK, Paris and New York. “18 months ago, we were 18, and now we are 80,” says Piers Crowder, director of people.

As AC Group grows and develops, Crowder is conscious of the need to maintain a sense of unity around the organisation’s purpose and values. “There’s a lot of work being done by the senior team currently around being very clear about company direction, mission and values, giving us objectives which will lead to individual [key performance indicators],” he explains.

Besides the core elements of its benefits package, which include a workplace pension, childcare vouchers and season ticket loans, the company allows its travel-loving workforce to use its booking platform to access preferential rates for hotels and Eurostar discounts. “We also take everyone to Paris, usually twice a year in the summer and winter,” adds Crowder.

As a small organisation, AC Group has always operated an open-door policy which, alongside its attractive benefits package, is part of its overall approach to employee engagement. “It’s about being highly approachable,” says Crowder.

For a growing organisation, creating an engaging experience is one challenge; as time goes on, AC Group aims to work on finding new ways of communicating with its expanding workforce, and measuring the success of its engagement strategy.

Crowder concludes: “We will need to be mindful that as we grow, we won’t be able to know how everyone is feeling on a given day, so we will need to start looking to technology for our surveys and metrics. But if people feel they are treated fairly, there is equity and equality and they are given support to perform well, they will stay with us.”