Value for your investments. Meeting business goals and objectives. Better engagement. These are the key issues that surround your incentive program. But how do you make sure that each issue plays into your program well — that it does what it needs to do, which is to boost employee motivation, drive up efficiency and productivity, and consequently, make your company a much better business? You need the following “ingredients”: Qualification Guidelines The same employees can’t be rewarded with fun travel incentives — all of the time. While this may be well and good for your high-achieving employees, it could prevent other employees from rising to the occasion, and even alienate them. The goal of your incentive program should not be to just reward your best earners; there should also be room and opportunities for your other employees to become rainmakers, too. So before you come up with a meeting and incentive travel plan for your high earners, develop a qualification guideline that will motivate your other employees, keeping in mind that the requirements are fair and achievable by many. Employee Participation This refers to designing your incentive program. Instead of simply getting management to decide on where to go this year, what activities to introduce, or how long the trip should take, you can gain more insight by inviting your employees to participate in the process. Use surveys. Get feedback from previous participants. Seek advice from your employees. In doing so, you will not only create a targeted incentive program but also one that is guaranteed to motivate and deliver meaningful experiences. The Travel Experience Your travel destinations and activities (including policies) should be able to compel excitement and interest from your employees, enough to inspire them to perform better than expected. And according to research, the most effective experiences include sunny destinations (the Caribbean is considered to be a top favorite), unscheduled leisurely activities, and broader guest policies. But aside from those inclusions, your company should not discount the importance of the “getting there” part. Most travel experiences can fail when they poorly organized: not enough rooms have been booked, reservations to airlines have not been paid, and so on. Don’t ruin your well-developed incentive travel with such stressful situations and hire an experience team to manage the planning and execution of your incentive program. Measurable Results Finally, you need to measure the effects of your incentive travel program. Did it bolster the sales performance of your team? Did it lead to new prospects for your business? Has it improved the attitudes and productivity of non-high earners? By knowing the impact of your incentive program, you’ll be able to figure out if you need to redesign the structure or retain the whole thing.