Many companies have adopted a travel incentive program as a way to reward their deserving employees. They’ve found that rewarding with travel is a more effective way of motivating their staff to perform well and stick around. What is it about travel that manages to the do trick when cash rewards and other types of incentives aren’t very successful at accomplishing this? The thing about rewards is that they have to be both tangible and emotional. Cash just seems so cold and is frequently gone before its presence can be relished. Travel, on the other hand, is exciting and memorable, something that really stays and makes a difference in your employees’ lives. With the kind of impact it creates, travel definitely makes a more effective tool for exacting the level of performance you want. Some companies may point out that they’ve run surveys and polls to find out what it is that their employees would truly prefer, and the resounding answer is definitely “cash.” While it’s a good idea to have such open communication with your people, it’s also possible that it won’t get you to the right solution. It’s entirely likely that your employees are not aware of what’s truly capable of motivating them. Cash is an easy answer to give because it’s always needed and wanted, but even if it is used to finance a family trip or to pay for the kids’ special lessons, people are not likely to associate the perks with the company. Getting cash rewards doesn’t effectively drive employees to keep on performing well or inspire them to be loyal to the company. It just doesn’t seem to be like a huge enough deal. Could it also be that a cash reward feels too much like part of their salary that recipients feel entitled to it? A travel incentive, on the other hand, is able to capture employees’ interest and imagination, something that a gift card, a cash bonus, or stock options can’t engender. There’s just something about specifically being given the opportunity to go and have fun in a holiday destination that better engages the typical employee. From the eager wait and preparation for the trip to the lingering memories of a good and enriching time, travel just feels like it gives so much more than money does. There is also the social aspect to consider. It does not only motivate the recipients, but the others around them as well. People tend to share their travel experiences while they tend to keep quiet about their investments or whatever it is they did with the extra money, even if it’s something fun like a shopping extravaganza. Honestly, listeners would be more open to hearing about other places than a shopping haul. The opportunity to travel is something that many people desire and look forward to. As a motivator for better performance and company loyalty, it definitely takes top billing.

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