Recognising and rewarding hard work

Flight Centre Travel Group is an Australian-based international travel company and the largest retail travel outlet in Australia. It was founded by Graham Turner and Geoff Harris in 1981 and has an Australian Stock Exchange market capitalisation of $4 billion. The company has an annual total turnover of $13.2 billion, 2,500 stores in 12 different countries, and over 21,000 staff.

Flight Centre has a unique approach to labour relations and its structure is based on anthropological theories of the structures in which human beings work best. The company is based around seven-person teams, called families, who normally run a shop. Groups of four to ten shops are called a ‘village’, and the villages are combined into tribes, each comprising about 120 people. Each of the tribes inhabits a ‘country’; there are fifteen countries in Australia.

Flight Centre has 1,000 small businesses in its organisation, each with a team leader. The team leaders have a 10%-15% profit share so they are part owners of the shop business. There are also team incentives based on the earnings of the shop.

In addition, Flight Centre operates a shop ownership scheme, enabling team leaders to buy as much as another 20% of their business. If they take that option they can earn 30%-35% of the profits. Flight Centre finds that shops on the highest profit share scale actually make 50% more profit than if the employees were just on a salary.

Flight Centre believes that work should be both challenging and fun for everyone. They invest heavily in recognising and rewarding hard work. This includes educational leave, discounted travel, health & wellness consultations, discounted gym memberships and personal training, nutritional and emotional guidance, fitness challenges and events, financial planning, profit share and employee share plans.


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