WATERLOO, Iowa -- Bertch Cabinet Manufacturing sent its workforce on a Caribbean cruise earlier this month.

Gary and Becky Bertch of the Waterloo company took several hundred workers on a week’s vacation for meeting production and income goals, according to a report in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier.

The company has rewarded employees with similar trips in past years, but what is different this time is the attention in media outlets across the U.S. and even from London. The story was also picked up by The Associated Press on its website, CNN, and the Today Show.

The company has traveled to Acapulco, Hawaii and the Caribbean in the past. There were no trips during the recession. The Bertches offered the cruise to more than 800 employees. More than 600 signed up for the trip, the balance taking a cash option, according to the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier.

According to the Bertch website, the company's owners came up with the trip idea in the late 1980s. The company paid for a trip every two or three years if business goals were met.

"We always have had more of an 'everybody wins or everybody loses' mentality. So we thought if we're going to do it, we're going to do it for everybody," Gary Bertch said on the company’s website. “Production shuts down for the week of the trip. Employees have gone to Acapulco, Hawaii and on Caribbean cruises. "We're trying to find a warm place in the Iowa winter," Bertch said.

In 2004, the company flew 1,300 people to Cancun, Mexico, where they stayed at an oceanside resort that has Jacuzzis in every room, a beach and golf course, according to the Bertch website.

Companies are trying to get outside of the norm, trying to find something different and creative ways to engage people, Bertch told the Courier.

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