Incentive travel…the key to staff engagement? -According to a report by Gallup last year, only 13% of employees worldwide are fully engaged, (i.e. involved, enthusiastic & committed), to their work and employer.
While many large companies believe firmly in the principle that the biggest driver for their employees is financial gain, many studies indicate that it’s the non-cash incentives, particularly travel, that have the greatest impact on personal motivation and performance – and ultimately, create the longest lasting value for the business.
Generally speaking, people are uncomfortable with boasting about their income to family or friends because it’s “not the done thing”. Similarly, whilst spending vast sums of your own money on a lavish holiday to an exotic destination might be perceived as frivolous, winning and participating in a hard-earned incentive is perfectly acceptable and creates a higher level of personal self-esteem than a cash bonus added to the monthly pay-check.
In addition, we live in a society today where international travel is much more easily accessible – both financially and logistically, which means most employees would now consider themselves to be reasonably “well-travelled” at least within their own region of the world.
This presents both a challenge and an opportunity for employers to create an incentive travel programme that rewards ‘above target performance’ by creating a unique experience that goes well beyond the reach of a cash bonus or a personal vacation.
Incentive travel programmes enable companies to reward their employees by organising trips to destinations that are potentially outside the scope of what the employee can afford and create unique once-in-a-lifetime experiences that could not be achieved if they weren’t part of an organised trip or activity.
For example, who wouldn’t want to take a private after-hours tour of the Vatican in Rome, ride pillion on a Harley Davidson down the Las Vegas strip, or be a guest at an exclusive buyout of one of Sir Richard Branson’s most lavish retreats high in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco?
There is also the opportunity of significant positive endorsement of their efforts by being able to interact directly with senior executives who will host the trip, which increases the “trophy value” of the award and cements its position as a motivator of performance.
The additional benefit to the executive team is to spend rare 1:1 time with their top performers to glean vital nuggets about the attributes & behaviours that make them so successful and to consider how to instil these across the wider organisation to increase business performance.
Such high-end travel experiences create lasting memories that will be talked about and shared by the participants with colleagues and their own family & social network well after the event is over.
Perhaps most importantly, such success breeds the inherent motivation to ‘win again’ and to be part of the elite club who are recognised amongst their peers as being a top performer in their organisation.
Indeed, we have several examples of programmes that have generated “serial winners” who are driven, (both personally and by their partners or spouses), to exceed their performance targets each year and attain the ultimate accolade of winning a truly unique travel experience in an exotic destination.
From the employer’s perspective, they gain a loyal, committed and passionate group of top performers. They also create a motivational environment in which those who are not part of the elite group aspire to do so and challenge themselves to exceed their own performance goals.
Ultimately, a well-planned and organised incentive can be a major driver of bottom-line performance and when overall sales or growth targets are exceeded consistently, then the investment in such a programme is truly justified.
If you are considering implementing your own travel incentive programme, or would simply like to explore the matter in more detail, then we would be delighted to chat with you, so feel free to give us a call.
We are first-class event planners who have thousands of hours of global incentive experience. We know exactly how to sweep your employees off their feet by creating breath-taking, once-in-a-lifetime incentive travel programmes that will motivate and drive business performance.
We have a few examples of jaw-dropping incentives we have planned for our clients here, so feel free to take a look at what we can do for you.