Germany-based Vorwerk is looking to foster relationships across its global employee base with the “One Family” cultural exchange program.
Since its beginnings in 1883—as a carpet factory—Vorwerk has grown into a diversified corporate group, deriving the bulk of its revenue from direct sales of household appliances, cosmetics and other products. Despite having a presence in more than 70 countries, Vorwerk remains a family-owned business, and that heritage is reflected in its new exchange program.
One Family opened in 2013 to the children of Vorwerk employees, who number more than 12,000 worldwide. Through the program, children aged 15–20 can sign up to spend a portion of their school holiday with the family of an employee in another country. In exchange, a child from the host family returns the visit at a later date.
“Because we regard ourselves as one big family at Vorwerk, the family is a defining element in our corporate culture,” said Sandra Krieger, PR-Manager Corporate Communications at Vorwerk. “We decided to set up the exchange program to let our children benefit from the international character and open approach of the company.”
Vorwerk not only coordinates the exchange, but also pays for each child’s travel expenses. The host family is responsible for planning the day-to-day activities of the visit, which lasts anywhere from two to four weeks. Krieger reports that early feedback from One Family participants has been overwhelmingly positive.