Employee motivation is a cornerstone in the overall performance of any organization. Besides monetary compensation, it has been proven that employees respond positively to the added benefits that their workplace brings them. That’s why many organizations are adopting Employee Incentive Travel (EIT) Programs to keep the spirits up. How do you design an incentive travel program? Why should organizations consider the option? What are the benefits of a travel incentive program? These are some of the questions we will cover in this article.
What is an Employee Incentive Travel Program?
An Employee Incentive Travel Program is a recognition program for rewarding exceptional employees with an all-expenses-paid trip to their favorite destination. The essence of the travel incentive program is to reward high-performing employees and motivate the rest to reach the desired standards.
Some organizations also offer these incentive programs to employees for their loyalty and years of service.
Benefits of the Travel Incentive Programs
Incentive travel has many benefits, mainly impacting the company’s overall performance. According to Forbes, employee recognition is vital to improve performance and work ethics. Besides improving overall morale, employee appreciation makes them feel they’re part of the company, creating a hospitable working environment that boosts productivity. Here are some common benefits of incentive travel Programs:
Increases Employee Engagement and Motivation
A travel incentive program helps improve focus and motivation, with employees knowing they can earn a well-deserved vacation based on their performance. It creates a serene environment that boosts engagement, with every worker performing at their best.
Improves Satisfaction and Morale
Job satisfaction is critical to employees’ performance and work ethics. Having something positive to look forward to improves the workers’ morale, which reflects on their performance. A company can reach its objectives and desired goals promptly when everyone executes their roles as required.
Increases Brand Loyalty
In a world where many workers feel unappreciated and undervalued, brand loyalty is becoming a rare virtue. However, introducing a travel incentive program could counter this feeling by creating a positive workplace culture of inclusivity. Employees tend to be loyal to a brand that appreciates them, with some even bringing in new clients.
Strengthening Team Relationships
Besides being a getaway, corporate incentive travel programs may also act as a team-building exercise that helps create and strengthen worker bonds. Vacationing together and experiencing new things establishes long-lasting relationships between colleagues, translating to a positive working environment.
How do You Design an Effective Employee Incentive Travel Program?
Any effective workplace policy should consider inclusivity and fairness when creating it. The same applies to designing an incentive travel program. As a rule of thumb, you should clarify what employees need to do to earn a spot. You could use a point-based system, where workers earn points for every workplace achievement.
Choosing a preferred destination also boosts morale and motivation. Although a tropical destination is ideal, always consider employees’ needs and interests when picking a spot.
Make it clear whether the program applies company-wide or targets specific departments. Picking a target audience also helps to tailor the program to their specific needs. In most cases, many companies have multi-department incentive programs to boost morale and motivation.
It’s proven that having a company-wide incentive program might discourage some from participating due to the increased competition. However, targeting departments narrows down the competition, making everyone believe they can win.
A budget is also crucial as it determines the destination and the overall experience. Budgeting in advance allows for determining the trip’s length and the activities included.
Planning for logistics, like accommodation, traveling plans, activities, and meals in advance eliminates the pressure of last-minute cancellation. Only work with the best incentive travel program logistics agency.
Types of the Incentive Travel Programs
Corporate incentive travel programs take different forms depending on the company’s goals and objectives. However, here are some common incentive travel programs found in many organizations today:
Performance-based Incentive Travel Programs
Every company has predefined performance metrics and awards this program to high-performing employees or teams. Some objectives include meeting project milestones, achieving sales targets, or surpassing key performance indicators (KPIs). It is the most common incentive trip in many organizations.
New Product Launch Incentive Travel
Companies are known to launch new products regularly and offer this program to a team that helps to launch the product successfully. Market impact is crucial to any new product launch, and motivating employees responsible for this throughout the entire process translates to a successful project.
Sales Incentive Travel Programs
The program is commonly offered to outstanding sales teams and individuals in sales-driven companies for reaching or exceeding the pre-determined sales quotas. The travel incentives might include taking a holiday to a desired destination, staying in a luxury hotel, fine dining, or spa treatments, depending on the company’s budget. Sales incentive trips are usually recommended to motivate employees and achieve desired goals.
Customer Service Incentive Trips
Customer service employees might receive these incentive rewards for their outstanding work helping clients with queries or technical problems. The employee with the most positive client feedback receives the incentive trips, which might include water sports activities or theme park tickets. Doing so improves the customer service department, which helps to retain clients and even get referrals for outstanding work. An all-expenses paid trip eliminates the poor customer service record as everyone is focused on the travel incentives for top-performing employees.
Years of Service Incentive Travel
By offering work anniversary incentives, companies can show employees who have been committed to the company for many years. It’s meant to recognize their years of dedication and hard work during that period. Many companies go overboard to show how they appreciate the veterans by offering incentives like staying at a luxury cruise ship or a vacation to an exotic destination.
Leadership and Management Development Travel Incentive Programs
The program is reserved for executives, like managers and supervisors, for their outstanding work guiding their teams to reach the objectives. Awarding employees who show initiative and stand out in their roles is also common.
Why Should Organizations Consider Incentive Travel Programs?
Besides motivating employees to perform at their best, travel incentive programs also create a harmonious working environment, especially when the incentive is aimed toward a team. In this case, collaboration and teamwork is the key to getting the reward. In return, the company experiences growth and progress as everyone works together toward a common goal.
Workplaces can be stressful, especially when trying to reach objectives and goals. Creating an incentive travel program can spice things up, making employees look forward to working days. It also helps them develop the mental resilience to deal with everyday workplace stressors, knowing there is a reward once the project concludes.
Which Program Works Best for an Organization?
Every organization is different, with varying objectives and projects. Although there is no one-size-fits-all solution to the type of incentive travel program to offer, it helps target departments, as this helps increase competency and performance.
In this case, members of these departments will have to perform exceptionally to get a chance at winning a spot.
However, it’s crucial not to alienate any department, as this will be seen as favoritism and generate opposite effects. If an organization cannot afford to sponsor multiple travel incentive programs, it should have one where everyone is eligible to participate. Alternatively, an organization can rotate the programs yearly, with each department receiving a fair shot.
Keep Employees Motivated
Employee Incentive Travel Programs are crucial for rewarding outstanding workers and motivating others to perform at their best. The programs aim to recognize rising talent and exceptional performers and appreciate long-serving employees. It’s a way of creating a hospitable working environment and alleviating pressure from everyday work.
Before setting up an incentive travel program, it’s best to consider logistics, budget, a desired location, and the target audience. A successful incentive travel program promotes inclusivity and a fair chance for every employee to participate. It could be awarded to an individual or a team based on the company’s policies and objectives.