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Is Offering Travel Incentive Worthwhile?
A travel incentive program is just what it sounds like – travel perks offered to incentivize employees in order to increase their productivity and engagement.
Depending on the company, a travel incentive program / event can range from a weekend getaway to focus on team-building activities, all the way up to an all-inclusive family vacation paid for completely by the organization.
A travel incentive program is used not only to motivate current employees to work harder at achieving specific goals, but also to gain their loyalty and ongoing commitment. Which is approved by acknowledging employees that their hard work is appreciated.
One way companies use travel incentives is to directly link it to company goals and results. For example, if a sales team isn’t gaining enough clients, the management may offer extravagant travel opportunities in order to motivate the team to work harder.
The trip itself should be balanced between work and leisure time – after all, it’s meant to feel like a reward. A healthy balance of team-building activities, networking opportunities, and free time will make the trip diverse, interesting and reinforce its purpose of reward.
Is it worth it to offer a travel Incentive?
Planning a corporate trip can be expensive and time-consuming. Is there true value in these types of reward programs? Here are some reasons that say yes:
- When employees are sufficiently incentivized, they put in additional and measurable effort to achieve said targets and goals, often exceeding targets
- This type of incentive program has been proven to both attract and retain top-level talent
- These opportunities encourage cooperation between teams, departments, etc. as everyone works toward the same goal
- Achieving and in some cases even qualifying for a travel incentive program is in itself a reward of performance recognition
- The excursion tends to build camaraderie which leads to team member bonding and ultimately drives continued engagement post-travel
Defining your travel incentive program
First, set up your criteria – you should have clear achievable targets that employees must hit in order to qualify for the incentive. These goals should be tied into the strategic business goals of your company and should be a measurable result. You’ll also need to determine who is eligible for program participation – is it a specific team, or company-wide? Once these parameters are in place, introduce it to the employees and begin creating an internal marketing campaign to keep excitement levels up.
Next, ensure you have regular and transparent communication about the progress your employees are making towards the goal. Ideally, they should be able to track it themselves too. This will promote friendly competition and increase productivity. It also engages employees to track their own progress keeping detailed notes on what work they do so as to prove that they are meeting program requirements.
It must be made very clear from the start as to who can qualify for the travel incentive and the required performance metrics
- Define the goal and who it’s for: be as clear as possible. For example: the sales team will have a goal of increasing the number of clients by 50%.
- Tell them what they need to do, with a clear benchmark: what actions must they take to qualify? For example: to qualify for the travel incentive, a sales team member must average 10 new clients per month for the entire year.
- Make goals achievable: the goals should be challenging but possible to achieve.
Support the program
Manage the anticipation and excitement by slowly revealing clues about the destination. Some ways to do this include having a weekly clue posted or monthly leaderboard – again, promoting friendly competition – and recognizing employees who are getting close to meeting their targets. Giving periodic updates pertaining to the travel plans will also renew the motivation the employees feel to hit the targets.
Finally, design and launch a bon voyage party with celebratory announcements highlighting achieved targets and recipients.
Is a travel incentive program right for my company?
Obviously, different companies will have different restrictions when it comes to offering incentives, and a travel incentive is one of the biggest ones. However, that doesn’t mean you need to be a Fortune 500 company to offer them – it will simply take adequate preparation and sticking to a manageable budget.
If you don’t think your company is suited toward offering a travel incentive (perhaps it’s a new start-up without the money to do so, or for a myriad of other reasons) don’t worry – there are plenty of other monetary and non-monetary options you can offer in order to attract and retain employees. Check out 12 Employee Incentive Programs for more ideas!