To change this, you need to engage with your staff, restructure your incentive programme to motivate the entire workforce and ensure that you maximise the motivational benefit of your spend.
Research has shown a correlation between improvements made to incentive programmes and performance gain within companies. Incentive programmes can, according to Society for Incentive & Travel Executives, increase work performance by up to 22%.
Travel incentives are effective motivational tools as they recognise and reward employees, make them feel appreciated, and satisfy the need for novelty, physical activity, knowledge and the need to relax away from work. The success of travel as an incentive also lies in its trophy value. Winners can openly talk about their trip without being seen as overly boastful. But, if not structured, effectively travel incentives can fail dismally.
Explore the views of your unique set of employees, not only the top achievers but all employees. What factors would impact their level of motivation? Research points to the importance of having a choice rather than receiving a pre-selected reward, the value of being able to weigh up and decide on the class of hotel accommodation, length of stay and destination. Cruises and beach/sun and water destinations have high motivational value, so too is the option of inviting a guest or family member to join, even at their own expense. A tangible reward also offers better motivational benefits than cash or a cash card.
Motivate the entire workforce
Consider the structure of the incentive programme. Many companies are faced with the scenario where a selected number of people benefit from incentive travel programmes, while the majority view these rewards as unattainable. It's important to consider that a 5% performance gain from the middle 60% could contribute over 70% more revenue than a 5% shift in the top 10%. One way of ensuring greater participation is a tiered travel incentive structure consisting of a main incentive as well as smaller incentives or tangible rewards. Another is to use an open ended goal structure aligned to your company objectives, where the individual works towards attaining a personal goal rather than a set target; this changes the focus and ensures that what was once unattainable becomes possible. Group incentive travel can also assist in energising and motivating a larger group of employees.
The incentive programme should also be integrated into your internal communication strategy. Continuous communication from teasers to desk drops, company memos and posters to creative intranet and website support ensures greater awareness and impact throughout the company.
Maximise the benefit of programme spend
You need the right balance between motivation and investment. A clear understanding of the attributes and potential trade-offs (a more exotic destination for less expensive hotel) will enable you to make an informed choice and get the best return on your investment. asa
For more information please visit www.dumatravel.co.za
Themba Mthombeni, BCom (Hons), MBL, is the CEO of Duma Travel.