In my last post, I shared the importance of an incentive program's ability to effectively motivate. Factors such as employers being in tune with what their employees value and offering incentives that add a personal touch are imperative to keeping motivation levels high.
Next, let's touch on the importance of incentives having lasting effects and incentive travel's ability to keep that motivation building year round.
Memories That Last
The amount of time an incentive reward stays with you after you've received it is directly linked to its effectiveness. Whether with you as a physical something that you regularly use or see or as a memory that evokes happiness, the longer the reward stays on your radar in a positive way, the more it serves to motivate outstanding job performance.
Let's use monetary bonuses as an example. Unless the bonus is quite substantial, the recipient is likely to quickly spend and then forget about it. In fact, many employees claim to have used their bonuses to pay bills rather than on something fun and personal. In these cases, the money quickly disappears, leaving the employee with nothing meaningful or enticing.
Allow me to clarify that a cash bonus is never a bad thing...even if put towards the mortgage payment. I don't doubt that there are people who have received and spent monetary bonuses on things they considered valuable or desirable. In fact, those who have earned them should be appreciative and recognize what their employer has been kind enough to offer.
I'm simply drawing attention to the fact that when it comes to the ability to motivate over the long-term, a monetary reward is not the most effective.
In contrast, the effects of incentive trips are long lasting. The trip itself may last several days or longer. However, the memories created during that time can last a lifetime. Incentive trips with generous guest policies may allow winners to bring along spouses, family members or friends. A reward like this means something. It means getting to spend quality time with loved ones. It means new experiences, relaxing together and having fun. It enables colleagues to bond and become a more cohesive team. Being able to enjoy an amazing travel experience with people you care about is not something soon forgotten.
When it's time to pack your bags and head home, you take the memories and strengthened relationships with you.
This makes incentive travel such a strong motivator. The experiences remain with you and serve as an ongoing reminder to keep your performance level high.
Keep the Motivation Coming
When it comes to showing appreciation, employers can't beat the opportunity incentive travel provides. People work hard. For many of them, an incentive trip is the only opportunity they have during the year to get away...whether alone or with family. As people often have vacation time on the brain, this is going to stay on their minds and fuel their fire to succeed.
This is the type of thing that will keep your employees motivated. They aren't going to exert above and beyond effort for a prize they see as meaningless. However, they will put forth that effort - and consistently so! - for a worthy reward with long term benefits.
Keep in mind, employers and business owners are not obligated to offer incentive programs. Those who do clearly want to motivate their staff. They want to increase performance levels, boost sales, improve client/customer relationships and build value. By implementing an incentive travel program, they offer employees a chance to partake in an amazing reward that provides unique experiences and long-lasting memories.
Travel is personal. It's an experience that stays with us long after we've returned home. As an incentive, it stays with us and continues to serve as a source of motivation and inspiration. Employees appreciate an opportunity like this and want to work hard to earn it. After attending one of these trips, or hearing about one from those who have, they are all the more likely to strive year round for top performer status. This makes incentive travel a powerful tool for employers looking to elevate staff performance. That engraved desk clock on the other hand...? Not so much.
What is your experience with incentive travel or other incentive programs? What has worked well, and what has had a less than desirable effect?
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