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Introducing Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge in Nepal, our December Hotel of the Month for staff welfare
Each month in 2021 we feature a property that has made outstanding achievements in sustainability. Our theme in December is staff welfare and Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge has been selected due to the work they have done to ensure the wellbeing of their team.
The team at Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge take a holistic approach to regenerative tourism, believing it is important that both people and nature should thrive, and a big part of this is ensuring their staff are treated well.
The package offered to their employees exceeds statutory requirements, with the average wage being more than double the legal minimum. They also offer a provident (pension) programme and provided a social security fund before it was legally required. They have a 100% medical funding arrangement, with employees being able to choose their own doctor. This coverage is extended to their families if married, and to the parents of unmarried staff. This beautiful part of Nepal is highly seasonal when it comes to tourism, so they offer 45 days paid holiday per year in addition to substitute leave if statutory (government) holidays must be worked during the tourist season.
COVID-19 forced the property to shut down, yet they still continued to provide full pay for 6-months in order to support the community. Towards the end of that period the staff themselves, concerned with the long-term outlook, volunteered to take a pay cut. Discussions were held involving all employees when a better solution was agreed whereby 50% of pay would be provided upfront, with the remaining 50% deferred to when guests returned. Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge has managed to continue providing full medical cover throughout the pandemic and supported a COVID-19 vaccination programme.
Whilst many small enterprises restrict business travel to the owners, Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge see this as an important employee development opportunity and have so far sent ten staff on overseas trips to represent the property at trade shows and conferences. Extra days off and spending money is provided so they can explore the destination when work is complete.
Development opportunities are also provided as part of their Community Support Partnership Programme. This sees staff from the local area working with the community leaders, local schools and forestry committees. Staff are able to engage with community-based and led development plans, making recommendations to management about how to best support the local community. All of this helps to develop their confidence and leadership skills, as well as their own awareness of, and contribution to, community issues.
Highly commended for staff welfare...
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