Anatomy of a Successful Incentive Travel Program

four pictures depicting incentive travel

At this point in time, there’s no longer any question that incentive travel works to motivate and inspire employees.  But like any finely-tuned machine, incentive travel programs are built on a template.

Let’s look at the anatomy of a successful incentive travel program to better understand how the nuts and bolts relate to effectiveness of implementation.

Measurable results.

People often believe they’re doing a good job, even if the results rendered don’t match that perception.  It’s therefore imperative that employees have in place metrics which bear out those perceptions.

The objectives of your organization should be demonstrably addressed by the performance of employees eligible for incentive travel.  For instance, showing up on time and performing the requisite duties associated with the job don’t necessarily qualify employees for travel rewards.  Their performance, when measured against impact on organizational goals in play, should demonstrate a quantifiable impact.

Sales records are the obvious example here, but relationships with clients and suppliers count too.  How are your employees enhancing these relationships in the performance of their duties?  How do they excel in terms of client retention and supplier flexibility concerning delivery and pricing? These are measurable factors you can track.

Leadership hosting.

Key to the anatomy of a successful incentive travel program is event hosting by key leadership.  Their involvement in the travel incentive, at site, is essential to underscoring the importance of the incentive and the employees who’ve earned it.

Leadership hosting demonstrates commitment to the program and to the employees who’ve earned the reward.  It’s also an opportunity for employees to interact on a personal level with leadership to discern their future place with the organization.  For hosts, it presents a unique means of seeing employees outside the workplace and to gauge character and commitment.

Design based on employee input.

This factor could best be described as the spine of the anatomy of a successful incentive travel program.  Employee input about desired destinations, activities and skills enhancement opportunities is crucial.

Without that input, how can organizations know what’s going to motivate employees?  There must be an effort to tie the incentive to performance-based interests, as well as personal interests in recreation and evocative destinations.

Building interest and anticipation.

Well in advance of implementation, employees should be drawn into the program’s promise with clear, consistent communication which informs them about what’s expected, performance-wise and what to expect of the program.

Ongoing communication about the travel incentive program builds interest and anticipation, drawing employees into competition for the rewards on offer.  It also serves to motivate them to find new ways to demonstrate their value to the organization.

When employees know your organization is looking for measurable results, they’re going to be much more motivated to prove themselves by reaching for the brass ring you’re offering.  Communicating your expectations serves to light the fire in the belly that achieves your organizational goals.  Communicating what employees can expect from incentives underscores that effect.

Incentive Travel Group is a leader is building successful travel incentive programs.  Contact us.

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