Jun 8, 2023

On People and Culture at GetYourGuide

Tao Tao
Chief Operating Officer

Recently, I had the opportunity to join a panel discussion at the Berlin Sifted Sessions, alongside Vanessa Stock, Maren Schlieper, and moderated by Eleanor Warnock. We delved into the importance of people and culture in a company, and I shared some key insights from my journey as the co-founder of GetYourGuide. 

Here are some of the highlights:

Aligning business and people Strategy

At GetYourGuide, we believe that our business strategy and people strategy are two sides of the same coin. This alignment is crucial for us to deliver on our mission effectively. It’s not just about having cool perks and offices (though we do have one of the most amazing ones in Berlin), it’s about fostering an environment where our people can build unforgettable careers, reinvent how people travel, and create unforgettable experiences. We believe in cultivating a culture that empowers our employees to thrive, embrace challenges, and deliver their best work. This commitment to high performance not only motivates and retains top talent but also drives our success in revolutionizing the travel industry and crafting unforgettable experiences.

Building a team with a shared mission

With a global team spread across 17 offices, it’s essential that everyone is aligned with our mission. Our teams are dedicated to unlocking unforgettable travel experiences, a $300B market with only a fraction of it online. Today, more than 20% of our employees at GetYourGuide have been with us for more than 5 years, and 23% of all our hires are referrals, a reflection of the positive experiences they have had working with us.


Cultivating authentic culture

You cannot fake culture, or borrow it. For us, the journey of defining our company values was a learning experience. Our first attempt was a misstep - we tried to compile a “best-of” list from other companies. But we soon realized that our values needed to be authentic to us. So, we gathered as a team and actively identified what we had in common. From that, we distilled our values and behaviors. Today, our core values are 80% reflective of who we are and 20% of how we aspire to operate. 


Walking the talk

Trust is one of the core values at GetYourGuide. We foster this by trusting our teams with context.

Our initiatives center around walking the talk too. Every month, we share our business results with the global team and answer any questions, no matter how tough. And during Covid, we actively shared our cash balance with our employees. This transparency is important.

Advocating for a German talent strategy

During the panel discussion, I pointed out that Germany needs a talent strategy. We’re doing our part to seed future entrepreneurs, but we need a more competitive environment from a tax/VSOP/bureaucracy perspective. We must improve in order to increase our attractiveness to international talent. Having the 2nd highest fees & taxes within OECD countries does not help. The best time to act was 10 years ago, the second best time to act is now.

What’s next?

These insights are just a snapshot of our journey at GetYourGuide. We’re constantly learning, iterating, and growing. And if you are inspired by our mission and want to be part of this journey, we’re hiring.

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