A celebration of success and a chance to plan for future success: these were the main themes at TravelManagers’ 2018 national conference, which has just concluded in Hawaii. Presentations from keynote speakers such as Turia Pitt, supplier workshops, pre- and post-conference famils and a gala awards dinner were all highlights of the conference itinerary, which ran over a three-day weekend and attracted more than 230 personal travel manager (PTMs) and NPO team members and 90 representatives from partner suppliers.
The conference also served as an ideal environment in which to announce a new TravelManagers initiative aimed at supporting members’ health and wellbeing. The initiative, known as the Network Assistance Programme (NAP,) was announced by the company’s Executive General Manager, Michael Gazal, on day one of the conference, and he says the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
“We have a very close-knit network of PTMs and National Partnership Office (NPO) personnel working together to support each other, both in business and at a personal level,” explains Gazal. “It’s an environment that’s not without its stresses and challenges, and until now, we’ve had no input in relation to professional, psychological support. That’s where PeopleSense comes in.”
PeopleSense, as Gazal goes on to explain, is part of the Altius Group: a national company that provides specialist support, guidance and partnership to help organisations and their people realise their health potential.
Altius Group’s Co-Founder & CEO, Derick Borean, says the programmes work by implementing and administering a range of individual and organisational psychology solutions and support, which work to improve wellbeing, productivity and engagement through proven proactive interventions. Borean explains. “Within the Altius Group we provide access to expertise across a wide range of professional services designed to improve the overall health of organisations and individuals. Our PeopleSense team are true experts in emotional health, dealing with issues from anxiety and anger management to relationship difficulties and trauma.”
As part of the introduction of TravelManagers’ NAP programme, Borean ran a Wellness and Success Workshop at the national conference, in which attendees discussed the key pillars of wellness, their effect on performance, how to set simple goals and how to achieve them.
“At the end of the workshop, we wanted people to walk away with their own personal plan to improve their wellness, and with knowledge on why, how and what to do to make positive changes to achieve lasting success,” Borean explains “They’ve buddied up with colleagues and have taken a big step forward in their wellness journey. That is great for them personally, and it’s great for their business”.
Gazal says the introduction of the NAP programme reflects the value TravelManagers places on the PTM network, many of whom spend a large portion of their professional week working in geographical isolation.
“Because our business model allows PTMs the flexibility and freedom to choose their work hours and location, we’ve always placed an emphasis on ensuring that they still have the support and camaraderie that they would have if they worked in a traditional office environment: NAP is about taking that support to the next level, and we’re very excited by it.”
The link between a thriving business and its people is an obvious one, according to Borean, who says that healthy, engaged teams of people make a business more productive and successful.
“Whether it’s maintaining people in health or rehabilitating them in the event of injury or illness, by combining our clinical expertise, the science of behaviour, our national resources and commercial acumen, we’ll be helping TravelManagers to achieve industry-leading outcomes that will enable them to focus on what they do best.”
PTMs will receive six free support sessions per year, with round-the-clock access to a team of psychologists who have each completed four years’ tertiary degree and two years of professional supervision, as well as being registered with a regulatory body. This level of expertise offers PTMs proven, evidence-based strategies to help them out in their time of need.
“Assistance will be made available to all PTMs and throughout the TravelManagers network, regardless of the remoteness their location,” Gazal adds. “It’s free, self-referred and completely confidential.”
Borean notes that NAP is not just a programme for people in crisis: rather, he describes it as being equally designed to assist “normal everyday people, who feel they need some expert help with normal everyday issues.”
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