Incentive programs boost work performance by 22 percent — this according to a study spearheaded by the Society of Incentive Travel Executive (SITE). It’s an alluring reason, that’s for sure, to start developing your business’s own incentive travel program. But while this powerful motivation tool can deliver benefits beyond improving work performance, there are certain factors that may actually turn this tool into a liability.   Here are key challenges that businesses may have to contend with in implementing incentive travel programs:   The Challenge Motivating the rest of the workforce to achieve higher levels of performance. One of the main challenges incentive travel programs face is that it can be limiting, sometimes to the point of exclusivity, alienating other employees in the organization. Most incentive travel programs are designed to reward only the top 10 percent of performers on an annual basis, and most of these performers will be the same people getting the same sort of rewards every year. When your incentive program rewards the same group of, for example, sales people, you end up discouraging other sales personnel in your team. That leaves 90 percent of your sales people feeling like they will never be able to achieve the rewards.   The Solution Adjust your incentive program to target middle performers. Overcome this challenge by developing an incentive program that targets your middle performers. This strategy could end up giving you greater results. A study conducted by the Sales Executive Council of the Corporate Executive Board finds that a 5 percent performance gain from 60 percent of middle performers would result in 70 percent more revenue.   The Challenge A lackluster program fails to entice or encourage increased performance. Your incentive program cannot achieve what it is meant to achieve if it fails to give value to the workforce. Some businesses are dealing with this outcome because their incentive programs simply do not offer the right rewards.   The Solution Discover what your employees find to be rewarding, exciting, and memorable. In a recent study by SITE, 63 respondents revealed that their loyalty would increase if their companies offered on-going incentive programs that allowed them to choose rewards that were relevant to them.   The Challenge Incentive programs remain the same, year in and year out. Most companies might fall into a sense of complacency with their incentive travel programs. Sure, your current program may be increasing work performance consistently, but it could do more.   The Solution Improve upon the program by reassessing goals, objectives, and measuring previous results. There is always room for improvement and this improvement could end up boosting your bottom line, without added costs. Evaluate your existing incentive program and create changes accordingly.

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