When it comes to core values, Sundance Vacations sets the bar extremely high.
In fact, the company spells out its core values with the acronym T-E-A-M-W-O-R-K.
In essence, TEAMWORK breaks down as follows:
* T – Transcend professionalism
* E – Enjoy recognition
* A -Always show respect
* M – Make honesty your best policy
* W – Welcome fairness
* O – Opt to have fun
* R – Respond to charity
* K – Keep a positive attitude
Sundance Vacations, a wholesale vacation company with offices in New Jersey, Washington DC, Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Northeastern Pennsylvania, goes above and beyond to transcend each and every core value listed above. When it comes to professionalism, Sundance conducts on-going training sessions to instill and maintain the professional aspect of each job classification. As an example, potential employees, particularly telephone service representatives (TSRs), must take part in a two-day training session under the guise of Sundance University. But the training goes well beyond the initiation stage and continues throughout the duration of an employee’s stay.
As for enjoying recognition, members of the Sundance family are recognized in a variety of ways for their efforts. For example, “The OWL,” Sundance’s in-house publication goes out of its way to hand out plaudits to deserving employees including top sales personnel, marketing masters, support staff, TSRs, senior TSRs and just about everyone who goes above and beyond. “The OWL” also features personal stories and accomplishments of Sundance employees.
In addition to being lauded in print, outstanding Sundance employees also are rewarded in the form of vacations, paid time off, prizes and more.
When it comes to respect, honesty and fairness, these values are infused into Sundance employees from day one and are pretty much self-explanatory.
The fun aspect of Sundance’s core values is two-fold, in that fun goes hand-in-hand with company-wide events that range from parties to wellness programs that offer incentives other than enriching the lives and health of employees.
Each year, John and Tina Dowd, co-founders of Sundance Vacations, go out of their way to show employees a good time. Among the events held for the Sundance faithful are a Mardi Gras party and a Christmas party, as well as a summer excursion to Dorney Park and Wild Water Kingdom in Allentown.
One of the bigger fun-filled events is the celebration of National Tourism and Travel Week. For the week-long event, employees are encouraged to “dress the part” for such locales as the beach, the mountains, the golf course and more. But wait, there’s more. There are essay and photo contests on a number of topics and prizes are awarded to the winners by an astute panel of judges. Needless to say, fun is had by all during this week-long celebration.
So, how do wellness programs equate to having fun? These programs tend to encourage a “healthy” competition among employees, but in the long run everyone is a winner. Developing healthier lifestyles always has been a target aimed at by Sundance, according to Tina Dowd. That’s why she and John continually launch wellness programs.
In 2012, Sundance Vacations kicked off its own version of the “Biggest Loser.” The company-wide program contest had Sundance employees competing as five-member teams in an effort to promote health and wellness by shedding pounds. The winning “Biggest Loser” team split $5,000, while the second-place team split $2,000 and the third place team shared $1,000.
The 2013 program was the “Great Sundance Smoke Out,” an incentive-laden competition designed to show quitters can be winners. The end result was that 17 of the 43 employees who enrolled in the program quit smoking. For their efforts, those who completed the program received a week’s paid vacation or the cash equivalent. Thousands of dollars in cash prizes also were given quitters and their coaches.
Though each of these competitions offered prize incentives, Tina Dowd said the real impact is the fact Sundance employees become healthier and, in turn, create more enthusiastic and more productive workers.
This year’s company-wide internal wellness program is called “Sole Survivor,” which also is designed to promote the healthy-body, healthy-mind theory. “Sole Survivor” encourages employees to walk, run, cycle or use any other means to “step up” their physical activity. The contest calls upon participants to increase the amount of steps they take on a daily basis and each step is counted by wearing a company-provided FitBit. an apparatus that logs the number of steps you take.
Like the other wellness programs, “Sole Survivor” also features incentives other than improved physical and mental health. Prizes include t-shirts, hats, gift cards and more. The ultimate prize is a three-night stay in Hilton Head, South Carolina, for the top seven, two-person teams. This includes paid time off, airfare, accommodations and meals.
As for the core value of charity, the benevolence of Sundance Vacations is well-documented. The most recent charitable donations made by Sundance were to the Volunteers of America’ Magnolia Project, the Greater Hazleton Rails to Trails program and the Children’s Service Center in Wilkes-Barre. Tina and John Dowd go out of their way when it comes to giving back to the community. These are just a select few of the organizations that Sundance extends an open hand to through its charitable endeavors.
So, when you combine all of the core values listed above, you can see how the final core value of keeping a positive attitude is accentuated. Each core value builds off of the other to fulfill the concept of TEAMWORK.
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