Everyone likes to be rewarded for their hard work. Employees in companies both large and small are no exception. Recognition and incentive programs can be some of the best ways to both acknowledge a job well done, as well as to motivate desired future outcomes. Several prominent studies show that recognition and reward programs are effective for numbers-related results such as increased productivity, higher sales, larger profits and brand awareness. But perhaps of even greater value, these studies also show that incentive programs create those elusive intangibles that are so valuable to the bottom line like company camaraderie, peer encouragement, team bonding, company loyalty, effective training and a desire for continuing education. * Good incentive programs have many different components as employees respond to different types of encouragement. The previous studies, as well as prominent psychologists, confirm that the most important psychological need of an employee is an affirmed self-esteem. From getting to use the prime parking spot for a month to watching their idea for a more efficient procedure put into practice, employees respond to a variety of rewards. And, hands down, one of the most popular incentives is travel. Travel can be an extremely effective way to motivate and reward employees. But no program is worth the trouble if it is financially prohibitive. Companies that specialize in corporate incentive travel programs have several suggestions for maximum results: 1. Choose a trip that appeals to the largest possible demographic – The more employees that participate, the more excitement is generated, which in turn produces better contributions by those same employees. 2. Set a sales goal that is high but achievable, and not necessarily exclusive – For example, set the sales goal at 120%, or the pinnacle achievement - the President's Club. Everyone who hits the goal, makes it into the President's Club, gets to take the trip. If everyone actually hits their 120% goal, the profits generated will more than cover any trip incentive costs. And more likely, those that don’t make the goal will still attempt it, and their higher numbers will cover the trip costs of the winners. 3. Tap vendors that the company works with – Vendors are often eager to contribute to incentive programs as it’s a strong use of their marketing dollars. They can cover the cost of the trips themselves, provide add-ons, sponsor special tours or even pay for meals. Their sponsorship gets their names in front of the employees that use/sell them as well as lets employees know their work is appreciated. Travel rewards are tremendously effective in encouraging and motivating employees. Not only do they promise adventures to locations that employees may otherwise never get to visit, they also allow employees at all levels to interact with their peers as well as their bosses in a low-key, vacation environment. Sharing a meal at a luau or climbing a waterfall as a team in Jamaica breaks down many of those walls detrimental to that crucial company camaraderie. Correctly implemented, a travel reward and recognition program can be one of the most savvy investments a company can make towards its bottom line. For more information on implementing a President's Club program, contact Peak Performance Meetings & Incentives. *Statements compiled from studies and quotes from Patrick Delany, Julia Rutherford Silvers, Nathaniel Branden, Frederick I. Herzberg, Tepper and Corporate Meetings and Incentives

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