With offices nowadays often decentralized with remote or hybrid workers, or just spread out over multiple time zones, employee incentive and rewards travel programs are more popular than ever.
Rewarding high-performing employees with incentive trips can result in an overall improvement in a company’s bottom line. Not only do incentive trips increase potential revenues, but they also go a long way in maintaining high employee morale.
Before diving in and sending everyone on a fabulous trip, it’s important to create a formal performance incentive program for your team.
The program needs to be two-fold:
- It must have an attractive incentive
- the goals must be seen as achievable
If you can accomplish those two things, you have set yourself up for success in a number of ways.
Let’s discuss how incentive programs are a win-win scenario.
- You find out what motivates your team
- Going beyond just the sales team – incentive programs are for all departments
- A chance to establish collective goals
- Improves employee retention
- Great for employee mental health – reduces burnout
- Incentive trips are personalized and customizable
- Increases ROI
- Incentives benefit the management team as well
- Who doesn’t love a vacation
1. You find out what motivates your team
What types of destinations would inspire your team to work harder and more effectively? Are they inspired by relaxation? Would an adventurous excursion pique their interest? What if you take them to some exotic destination they may never visit on their own?
The opportunity to create memories that will last a lifetime is your goal. A desirable incentive trip will serve as a huge motivator for your entire team. In order to reach their goals, they will be more fired up in their jobs, leading to increased productivity because they now have more of a reason to put their hearts into what they do. In this way, perceptive managers and leaders can gain critical insight into what makes their team members tick.
2. Going beyond just the sales team
It can be tempting to only offer incentive trips to your top-performing sales members. After all, it’s your sales forces that are key to your company’s revenue streams. Sales teams don’t exist in a vacuum, however. They are backed up by many other departments that support their operations, either directly or indirectly.
That’s why you should consider your marketing team, your IT department, HR, operations, and many other teams beyond just sales. When you spread the wealth and open up incentives to all departments, you may just find that the whole of the company comes together in a harmony and unity of purpose that you may not have seen before. The opportunities for a kind of ‘cross pollination’ of ideas from various departments is high on these types of trips where none of the usual silos are in place.
Besides, each department plays a key role in the overall health and productivity of the company, so giving employees outside of sales a reason to jump in full force can supercharge your team.
3. A chance to establish collective goals
Start with the end in mind. First, consider your expectations. Then, reach a little further and determine the level at which you would like to celebrate exceeding those expectations as a group. If the challenges and demands of the incentive program are too great, you run the risk of a deflated workforce that sees the goals as unreachable and gives up.
Speaking of teams, creating team-oriented goals will help develop internal bonds as your staff works together to achieve them. If an entire team meets their goals and wins the incentive trip, those relationships will only continue to grow as they travel together. Better yet, they will carry back over into the workplace and the cycle will continue in order to meet the set of goals for the next incentive trip.
4. It’s fantastic for employee retention
While not every company offers incentive events, it certainly seems as though those with the highest retention rates have them. The takeaway is that, if employees feel they are being acknowledged and rewarded for their contributions, the likelihood of looking elsewhere for work is greatly reduced when incentive trips are in play. They are a definite route to satisfy both of those needs — the acknowledgment and the reward.
Let’s also realize that the trip itself, beyond just the psychological fulfillment aspect of it, is often seen as a great perk in its own right. Since not every company offers these kind of trips, employees are naturally loathe to give them up once they are a regular occurrence. By far, retaining qualified personnel is one of the greatest challenges in today’s competitive job market, but incentive programs can be something of a ‘silver bullet’ when it comes to solving the issue of retention.
5. A reduction in burnout that also promotes mental health
We’re all familiar the effects of burnout, either in our own experience or among our co-workers. This often stems from the feeling of work without end or without sufficient reward to make the daily stress they endure worth their while.
Warning signs of burnout can be reduced productivity, a lack of engagement in the work, poor attendance, and just an overall lack of meaningful job satisfaction. If left unchecked, burnout can have serious effects on mental health and well-being.
Thankfully, incentive trips can give employees who may be feeling the burn a goal to focus on, a reason to keep going, keep pushing forward. If you deliver a fantastic event that makes good on the reward that they fought so hard to achieve, they will feel as though they earned it, which they absolutely have. Then, plan the next event to give them a milestone to strive towards. When it comes to mental health, definitely don’t discount the healthful qualities of sipping a drink on a sun-drenched beach to recharge a person’s mental batteries.
6. Events are both scalable and customizable
Rest assured, incentive trips can be flexible. Incentive travel is fully scalable and can be customized to accommodate any budget and number of people. Although long trips with big groups can sound fun, there are many benefits to keeping things small.
For example, short incentive trips with fewer winners will not only save money, it will create a more intimate and more personally customized experience for the group. It will also create a sense of motivation, driving your team to aspire to the next trip.
7. The ROI is out of this world
Here are some juicy facts for your consideration. According to Site Global:
- For every $1 spent on incentive travel, companies benefit from $12.50 in increased revenue and $3.80 in new profits.
- Incentive travel has the equivalent effect of an 8.5% increase in an employee’s base salary.
- Non-cash rewards are often two-to-three times more effective than a cash reward.
Incentive travel is not only a welcome and preferred benefit to employees, but it also affords the incredible opportunity for companies to potentially get back more than what they put into it.
8. It’s a slam dunk for management, too
Incentive events give the executive leadership team a unique opportunity to have all of their top performers, preferably from all departments, in one place at one time. This is the time when those bonds that yield so much at the office are strengthened and deepened outside of work. It’s those real-world connections that make the difference between a good team and a great team.
This is also a chance for management to have some much-needed face time with those extraordinary individuals who elevate the company. It’s never a bad idea to have genuine friendships in place to create a fantastic work environment, and incentive events, with their luxury and shared relaxation time, is the ideal place to forge them.
When you take this into account, along with the incredible ROI opportunities we discussed above, the question isn’t why should we offer incentive events, but rather why haven’t we been doing this all along?
9. Finally, everyone loves a vacation
The thing that sets incentive trips apart from other rewards is that they provide your team with experiences they might not have had on their own. Treating your high-performing team members to an all-expense-paid vacation to thank them for a job well done is an effective and reliable way of instilling company loyalty.
Beyond that, the company benefits from the increased productivity, and the employees benefit from the rewards and recognition for all their hard work. Like we said, it’s a win-win!
So what are you waiting for? Contact us today, and start planning your first (or next) sales incentive trip!