June 17th 2016 was a momentous day for the Rickshaw gang. Why? We had been nominated for two awards at the very first Brighton & Hove Independent Business Awards, and guess what? We won Employer of the Year 2016 and Overall Business 2016!
2 awards in 1 night
As you can imagine, we were super chuffed. You see, we are a company that works very hard for what we believe in. We had never won an award before, so winning 2 in one night was nothing short of amazing!
It was the very first Brighton & Hove Independent Business Awards to celebrate business excellence locally and was held on Friday, June 17th 2016 at the Bupa Lounge Amex Stadium, presented by Nick Wallis; BBC One Show presenter and Channel 5 reporter.
The awards comprised 19 categories and an expert panel of judges from the world of local business who chose the winners.
We were thrilled to win the Employer of the Year award, sponsored by Sussex Chamber of Commerce as this award recognises businesses that excel in staff relations, staff retention, excellent training opportunities and who care for their employees. AKA, the bestest and most wonderful company to work for! To top it off, the judges had another surprise up their sleeves by awarding us Overall Business! This prestigious award was given to us on the basis of being the most impressive business of the year; a recognition for looking after our clients, staff and community. To say we were surprised is an understatement! Blushing? Us? No 😉
Putting people first at home & abroad
So what’s our secret to winning 2 awards? It’s very simple. (Leonardo DiCaprio, take note).
- We’re all about putting people first. From our lovely staff, our customers (fondly known as our Rickshaw Ramblers) and local partners on the ground, to the local community projects we work with.
- It’s no surprise we have high staff retention (90%). We work hard but there’s plenty of treats to ensure that work/life balance is a reality. We also have daily free meals (provided by the lovely local company Daily Veg), beer o’clock every Friday, healthcare cash plan, travel fund, flexible working time, Ride2work scheme and much more!
- We’re a dedicated bunch. One of the things that makes Rickshaw truly special is our dedicated team from our Travel Specialists all the way through to our Managing Director. Each and every team member has their own real experience of travelling and are passionate about the meaningful travel experiences we offer.
- Real Spirit is at the heart of everything we do. At Rickshaw we define Real Spirit as that moment when we are no longer tourists, but immersed in an amazing travel experience. The aim of Real Spirit is to leave travellers with memories that last long after their tan has faded; the sights they have seen, feelings they have experienced and people they have met along the journey. Internally we define this as ‘daring to be different’. We are not afraid to be different, but overall it’s about believing that the reasons we do something will improve ours and our customer’s experiences. An example of the Rickshaw Spirit can be found in how we celebrate our sales. Each employee (management included) has on their desk a different musical instrument from the different countries we travel to. Every time a member of the sales team closes a sale, the entire office plays their instrument. This is a great fun way of celebrating our achievements!
- Career development. As part of our commitment to putting people first, we also love a proactive and objective working environment where everyone trusts each other, feels enriched and empowered to grow in line with the business. We are all about setting people up for success so would never expect you to do something without the relevant training and we have lots of training opportunities that are run in house or externally. We also do paid ‘extra curricular’ learning and development days and charity days where you get to spend a day of work in a charity of your choice.
For us, meaningful travel means having unique experiences that bring you closer to the country you’re visiting. It’s all about immersing yourself in local communities while at the same time preserving and supporting those communities. We believe that travel can be of huge social and environmental benefit and we aim not only to minimise the harm that tourism can do, but to go one step further and maximise the benefit. To aid this endeavour we support a local project in each of the destinations.
As well as offering you the chance to donate to the chosen project when you book with us, we also like to carry out little in-house fundraising events ourselves. 100% of all of the money we raise goes directly to the chosen charity.
Our whole ethos is about meaningful experiences, and this starts at home. Meaningful and memorable travel experiences are at the heart of what we do here at Rickshaw. Our aim is to give our customers the most memorable travel tales ever. But it doesn’t stop with our customers. We strongly believe it’s just as important to offer meaningful and memorable moments to the Rickshaw team as well. From African drumming and ukulele strumming, clothes swapping, re-decorating the Crew Club in Brighton’s Whitehawk or an afternoon out at Stanmer Park, there’s plenty of team outing that brings us all together.
We also invest in our local community by working with local suppliers. From our yummy daily lunches to our recycling, our dev teams, we support local businesses in every opportunity we can. Whether attending Feed the 5000 to learn more about how we can reduce food waste, volunteering at Brighton Marathon or participating in this year’s Pride Parade, at Rickshaw we’re always looking for new opportunities to learn from others in our community, and to give back as much as we can.
We also run a pretty kick-ass internship programme too which gives people an opportunity to experience Rickshaw first-hand; what we do and what makes us different. We welcome people from all over the world, from 2 weeks to 3 months, where they’re shown the ropes of travel.
We celebrate bookings playing instruments from around the world, we bake cakes for each other’s birthdays, we finish the week beer in hand with our infamous beer o’clock or hunted chocolate Easter eggs around the office. Working at Rickshaw Travel is not your typical job. And we’re more than happy just being different.
So there you have it… a ‘multi-award winning travel company!’ Don’t worry, we won’t let the fame go to our heads just yet. In fact, we want to say a huge congratulations to all of the winners & nominees. And finally, a massive thank you to the Brighton & Hove Independent Business Awards and their judges for their support, as well as all of our suppliers, partners and customers who have helped to get us where we are <3