Any business or organization will have employees with varying performance levels. There are the top performers, the middle performers, and team members who may need help or motivation (or both) in demonstrating their best abilities in their tasks. As much as trainers and managers may want every team member to give their 100% every single time, there will always be factors (such as the employees' experience, learning abilities, level of training received, personal work ethics, and others) that contribute to and affect their overall performance in different projects, and the results may not always be of the expected quality. And while reminders that each employee plays an important role in the company's success are often effective motivators, one other thing can serve as an equally persuasive way of encouraging each person to maintain top form at work. And that's the introduction of incentive travel programs. Why create an incentive travel program? For internal employees and direct sales representatives, an incentive travel program provides an opportunity to gain an extraordinary experience, which can prove to be more valuable (and more exciting to aim for) than the usual token of appreciation or monetary reward. People work hard and put in the hours at the office or on the field; a chance to take a trip, especially if it's to a highly desirable location, is most welcome — and is quite effective in boosting employee morale and encouraging them to improve and enhance their performance at work. Designing the incentive program, however, will require some careful insight and study. A four-part study conducted by the Site International Foundation and the Incentive Travel Council of the Incentive Marketing Association gathered 1,000 participants' views on incentive travel, and the information they collected can help you understand employees' feelings about the program and discover ways to make it more attractive as well as beneficial to them. Here are some valuable details gleaned by the study: The destination choice is important, but the length of the trip and variations in destination are just as critical. Of all the participants, 85% said they would be more motivated by longer trips, while 70% said they were more motivated by having more choices of destinations. Offering an opportunity to truly unwind motivates employees more to win the incentive. People who work long hours are more engaged by the thought of taking a trip with a more relaxed pace. Seventy-five percent of respondents said they would be more motivated by having more leisure time, while 70% would be more motivated by having fewer required functions during the trip. The good news for businesses is that infusing these two strategies into an incentive program can cut costs as well as increase ROI. Consider structuring your program in a way that can help employees gain more family time. Your organization may have plenty of working parents on board, so before creating your program, conduct a survey to see whether they would be motivated by an incentive that will allow them to take spouses and children along for a family vacation. Find out if your younger workers are all about fun or also interested in socially conscious experiences. Your incentive program can also be an opportunity to support your employees' dedication to a cause, or pique their interest to give it a try. Meaningful trips to parts of the world where they can participate in relief efforts or fundraising activities can prove to be a strong motivator, and therefore an effective incentive program.