Trust matters most

With travel back with a vengeance, Singapore-based corporate incentive organisers MICE Matters have hit the ground running.

And unlike other travel suppliers laid off staff or placed them on furlough, MICE Matters did no such thing, which has helped with the voluminous influx of travel requests since April 2022.

“One benefit of keeping all my staff during the pandemic was that we didn’t have to recruit again. We also have new clients knocking on our door because their previous suppliers are dealing with manpower shortages and unable to provide travel services,” Melvyn Nonis, director, MICE Matters, told TTGmice.

As to how he and co-founder Michelle Seet emerged in a strong position from the pandemic, Nonis shared that it was because his 15-strong staff had “a deep level of trust” in them, as well as sufficient financial reserves.

“This strong foundation of trust has been developed over the years; staff have been with us for six to seven years on average. We work beside them every day, and they know we have their best interests at heart,” he shared.

But even though both Nonis and Seet were prudent over the years, a company-wide pay cut still had to be enacted in 3Q2020.

During this time, staff were also given the opportunity to take on other part-time jobs, such as teaching tuition.

To ensure that employees felt “purposeful” coming to work during the pandemic, MICE Matters created a virtual meetings division.

“Virtual meetings were booming, and we helped to run webinars. This helped my staff learn new digital skills that are still relevant today. These skills are currently in use when we do virtual pre-departure briefings and pre-registrations,” Nonis stated.

Another way MICE Matters keeps its team motivated and performing at their best is also the S$10,000 (US$7,388) bonus coupled with 10 days of paid leave, awarded after being with the company for 10 years. This incentive was already in place before the pandemic.

“Out of the 15, five have already received their bonus,” Nonis said with a chuckle.

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