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The Beginner’s Guide to Incentive Travel

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Incentive travel is a popular way in which companies reward their employees for their hard work throughout the year. It consists of a three-to-seven day vacation where nearly everything is funded by the company. 

This may seem counterintuitive for profit at first, as hosting a vacation for all or a selection of the employees will likely be very costly. In reality, the very opposite is true. Offering incentive travel will boost morale and collaboration, and those who are well rewarded for their efforts will feel more motivated to put more effort into their work, resulting in higher production rates. It’s the ultimate experience that will motivate high-achieving employees to keep working hard and some of the “slackers” to pick their game up. The families of these high-achieving employees may be invited to the vacation as well. 

In order to further boost motivation and revenue many companies put in place requirements in order to qualify for the vacation - for example, employees may be required to achieve 115% to 120% of their quota before any sort of reward is given. This results in a positive ROI.  

What’s Included in Incentive Travel?

Incentive travel trips are most effective when fully funded by the company. Depending on the company’s budget, some elements of incentive travel may be omitted, but most forms of incentive travel include :

 

  • A lavish destination - An exotic island or a Whitesands beach are both perfect places for incentive travel vacations to take place. 
  • Luxury hotel - A five-star hotel would be optimal, but four-star hotels work as well. 
  • Included allowance
  • Nightly dine-around options
  • Activities - It would be optimal if you could involve some interactive and enjoyable activities boosting team collaboration.
  • Air travel & transportation - Business class would be optimal; after all, you are on a business trip!
  • Gifts - Even a simple box of chocolates can mean a lot and prove the company really thought the events through. 
  • Awards ceremony - Reward the best of the best with a prestigious awards ceremony.
  • Central theme
  • On-site staffing
  • Entertainment - Add in some high-quality entertainment. Comedy shows, singers, and speakers are all some good examples. 

Why Does Incentive Travel Work?

Non-cash rewards hold an advantage over cash rewards in the long term. Cash rewards are easy to administer, but they are far easier to forget than an all fees paid vacation. Furthermore, incentive travel increases productivity by almost 20% in the short term (< 6-month mark), which creates an expected ROI of around 112%. If you want to improve your sales and meet your goals, incentive travel is the way to go.

Attrition rates are lowered by 30% with a carefully planned out travel rewards program. This in itself is a great reason to start planning incentive travel, as replacing an employee can cost 150% of their first year’s salary. 

The last reason why incentive travel works is because it builds a company culture where your company can be renowned for its rewards instead of inhumane hours. What’s more, it creates memories that they can look back on and reflect on a personal level. 

To summarize, incentive travel is an excellent non-cash reward that can be administered to high-performing employees. If planned out properly, it can lead to lower attrition rates and a higher ROI and every company can implement it into their rewards program. 

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