Liberty ITG believes in the power of compassion and purpose in business
A Q&A with Mario Enzesberger, founder and CEO of Liberty International Tourism Group.
Q: In the business world, companies have typically focused on generating profits, often overlooking values, purpose, employees and other stakeholders. How does Liberty International Tourism Group emphasize compassion and purpose in its business operations?
At Liberty International Tourism Group (LITG), we believe in more than just profits. We know that success is not just about money, but also about how we treat people and the impact we have on our planet. Our success is built on a foundation of compassion and strong values.
We understand that our employees, spread across the world, face various challenges, like language barriers and time zone differences. In such situations, we emphasize empathy and understanding. We also prioritize ethical conduct in everything we do, aiming for transparency, fairness and integrity.
Our employees are vital to us, and we strive to provide them with a positive work environment, growth opportunities and competitive compensation. Happy employees are productive employees.
We also take our environmental impact seriously, integrating sustainable solutions into our operations.
As for our purpose, it has always been central to our identity. When I founded LITG in 1991, our goal was to become a leading DMC group, and today, we are the largest DMC for (meetings and events). Our purpose drives our innovations, creating memorable experiences for our customers. We owe our success to our dedicated team and partners, both local and global.
Q: Compassion and purpose-driven practices require a long-term perspective. How can a business balance short-term goals with a bigger vision? Can you share an example of how compassion has made a significant impact on interactions with clients, partners or employees?
Compassion and purpose-driven practices are about the long-term. We believe that small steps lead to significant changes. For instance, our sustainability initiatives started with small actions, and now, our clients appreciate our sustainable service offerings.
We also extend compassion to our employees, providing counseling and support during personal challenges. We encourage our team to be empathetic in their interactions with customers and colleagues, a value instilled in our organization.
Q: What are the main challenges when integrating compassion and purpose into a business strategy? How did you overcome them?
Integrating compassion and purpose into our business strategy had its challenges. Getting all our employees worldwide on the same page was tough, especially in a dynamic market. We couldn't wait for the right time; we had to act.
We reviewed our business model, trained our employees and provided resources to emphasize empathy, ethics and community engagement. Engaging with stakeholders and transparently communicating the impact of our initiatives helped build trust.
Sustainability became a core part of our operations over time, and integrating purpose into our mission statement, core values and strategic planning processes was essential.
Q: How do you believe empathy and purpose-driven practices directly impact business growth and development?
Empathy and purpose are crucial in today's business world. Internally, they boost employee morale, productivity and retention while fostering creativity and innovation. This keeps us ahead of competitors.
Externally, they strengthen relationships with customers and partners, expanding our networks and creating opportunities. They also enhance our brand reputation.
Q: With Liberty ITG's extensive presence and diverse stakeholders, how do you ensure compassion and purpose are embraced on such a large scale?
Our leadership sets the example, and these values trickle down to our employees. We maintain open communication, diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. Our "local experts" tailor solutions to local contexts, staying relevant and impactful.
Q: How do you effectively communicate purpose and compassion throughout the organization, ensuring everyone understands?
At LITG, our top-down approach involves aligning senior leadership with our values and providing clear, concise messages. We conduct employee engagement workshops, ensuring everyone comprehends our mission and vision. We encourage open communication, where any employee can voice concerns to seniors.
We also conduct market research, staying updated on trends and industry benchmarks.
Q: How do you see compassion and purpose evolving and impacting Liberty ITG's growth in the future?
For us, customer satisfaction and employee productivity are key. Compassion and purpose will drive customer loyalty, employee engagement and innovation, shaping our strategies, offerings and partnerships.
Q: Psychological safety is crucial in high-performing teams. How do you view this concept?
Psychological safety, as noted in Google's Project Aristotle, is vital. It means that team members feel safe to express ideas and concerns without fear of ridicule or rejection. We strongly believe in making employees feel valued, encouraging them to voice their thoughts without hesitation. This aligns with our organizational culture of compassion and purpose.
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