When you think about company benefits, you often think about things like health insurance, retirement plans, paid vacation, and sick time; but what about a ski vacation?
That is exactly what the food delivery company, Just Eat, recently did for about 5,400 employees, as they treated them to a four-day ski trip to Arosa, Switzerland. The trip cost the company approximately €15 million euros ($16 million USD).
This was a trip that was common for the company pre-pandemic, so although this was the first such trip since 2019, it was not out of the ordinary. The company even has a name for it: “Snow Fest.” So why the criticism?
The trip comes during a time when Just Eat’s stock price has declined nearly 70% in the last year and, as they recently reported, a net income loss in the multiple of hundreds of millions of euros. Shareholders will always want to maximize their returns, so the recent poor financial results bring scrutiny to the decisions of the company executives.
Was this trip irresponsible of the company given its recent performance? It appears the cost of the trip accounted for just a small percentage of the period losses, so it is a stretch to point out this one expense as the reason for the poor results. You also have to account for the positive team building, morale, bonding, and culture that the trip provided its employees. I know I always feel better and energized after skiing, so maybe the return on investment will be worth it.