Fáilte Ireland’s Journey to Becoming a Best Workplace

Cathal Divilly

UPDATE: In September 2022, Fáilte Ireland launched a new initiative, the Employee Excellence Programme, which will support businesses to drive great employee engagement and continuously build a great workplace culture. Great Place to Work is the official survey provider of this three-year programme, aiming to drive the recovery and development of the Irish tourism industry and establish great places to work throughout the tourism and hospitality sector.

The tourism industry in Ireland generates 5 to 7.6 billion per year for the economy and employs around 200,000 individuals. Fáilte Ireland, as the National Tourism Development Authority, work tirelessly to ensure Ireland is seen as a high-quality tourist destination, supporting our economy and those who rely on it. To achieve this, Fáilte Ireland relies on an innovative, agile, and engaged workforce, qualities which they have ingrained into their culture. How did they achieve this though? Let’s find out.

The Journey Begins

In 2017, Fáilte Ireland entered the Great Place to Work Programme. Their initial Trust Index Survey© results highlighted that it would benefit from further culture developments, to identify focus areas and to translate knowledge into actions. Through the transparent sharing of survey results across the organisation, and with the full backing of senior leadership, the organisation set their sights on establishing themselves as a Great Place to Work.


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Developing a Road Map

With assistance from our consultants, Fáilte Ireland's team set about addressing the focus areas identified through the Trust Index Survey ©. Newly developed initiatives to drive engagement would soon follow, as the organisation began to transform data into actions. Through improving their internal communication, establishing a staff forum, engraining a culture of recognition and much more, the organisation began to yield the fruits of their labour.


Aligning on Direction

As Fáilte Ireland established practices and enhanced their culture, it was important for them to ensure all in the business understood the direction the organisation was moving in. By devising their organisational values, in conjunction with their employees, those in the business knew not only where the organisation was going but helped chart the course. These values, meaningful to all as a result of co-creation, would offer the why as to the logic behind decisions made in the business and ensured sound guiding principles would guide them on their journey.


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The Journey Continued

With each year of involvement in the Great Place to Work Programme, Fáilte Ireland’s trust levels would increase. Their annual survey results would provide validation for their efforts, across all key areas, their employees voiced their appreciation for the efforts taken by the business. In 2019, the organisation received Certification as Great Place to Work, cementing its position as a culture where talented people could thrive. Unwilling to rest on their laurels, they would continue to introduce a range of new initiatives such as an annual recognition awards event and wellbeing supports.


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Arriving and Looking Forward

In 2020, Fáilte Ireland built on its Great Place to Work accreditation and was officially recognised as one of Ireland’s Best Workplaces. What’s more, the tireless efforts of CEO Paul Kelly would see him receive the title of Ireland’s Most Trusted Leader, in recognition of his inspirational and transformative leadership style. The work done by the organisation enabled them to be agile during the pandemic, shifting their focus to support the hospitality sector and ensuring the safety of those within it. Fáilte Ireland continues to develop their culture and inspire their employees as they ensure the economic growth of the Irish tourism sector.


Interested in starting on your Great Place to Work journey? Get in touch with our team today!

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2021 Ireland's Best Workplaces