Incentive travel offers a range of benefits for companies of all sizes, so it’s no surprise that companies worldwide are implementing programs every year.
With the help of incentive programs, companies can encourage healthy competition in the workplace, provide extra motivation for achieving challenging goals and increase dedication and loyalty in the workplace.
But while there’s no doubt that incentive travel programs offer a lot of value to businesses of all sizes, implementing a successful program can sometimes be a challenge, especially without prior experience.
So, we’ll explore some of the most important aspects you should consider when organizing a budget-friendly and immersive experience that your employees won’t forget for a long time.
Figure Out Your Budget
As any experienced agency will tell you, incentive travel planning starts with figuring out the budget you can allocate to the trip.
The easiest way to do this is by calculating how much ROI the goal you’re trying to achieve will bring, which you can then use as a benchmark when deciding what percentage of that sum you can spend on the journey.
In many cases, incentive trips will have clauses of specific sales numbers or other accomplishments by the staff, so you should figure out how you can measure the progress of those goals and then determine what amount would be adequate to spend on the trip if the goals are met.
This way, you won’t have to look at the cost as an expense, but can instead view it as an investment that will boost employee productivity and help your company achieve numbers that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.
Start Planning Early
If you want to have any chance of planning a budget-friendly journey for the staff, you need to start preparations as early as possible, since that will allow you to carefully weigh your options and look for the most cost-effective destinations.
Usually, a good rule of thumb is to start planning the journey at least six months in advance, although even a year before the trip isn’t too extreme, as that would allow you to get the most out of your budget.
What’s more, when you set goals well in advance, you are also giving your team time to accomplish them, and can thus can set more ambitious goals that would be hard to reach if the deadline were shorter.
Just as the best venue-finding services start looking for the best sites early, so should you identify potential opportunities. Look for special group packages and consider what types of trips could work within your budget while also providing an unforgettable experience for your team.
One thing to consider is the season during which your trip will take place. Sometimes, you may find that going to a particular destination during the off-season might allow you to get much more bang for your buck without hurting the quality of your trip.
An incentive travel program won’t be very useful if it doesn’t excite your team, as they won’t be motivated to work any harder if the reward isn’t something they truly want.
So, you should be open to talking with your team members about their preferences and figure out which destinations sound the most appealing, and you could even consult venue-finding services about the options that might work best.
You could organize a company-wide survey, asking your employees what they like and then looking for the most common answers to develop a profile upon which you should focus.
Sometimes, you might find that the ideas you had beforehand are quite different from the results of the survey, so you shouldn’t make any presumptions if you don’t want to disappoint your staff and reduce the chances of them accomplishing the goals you set.
Some groups of people might get excited about a relaxed trip to a warm beach destination, while others could be much more responsive to an action-packed sightseeing tour of exotic or exciting places. So, you need to evaluate what the group preferences are before making any decisions.
Whichever type of journey you end up choosing, you should try to plan a memorable trip that everyone will want to talk about well after it is over, as that will not only help boost morale, but will also serve as extra motivation the next time that you want to organize a similar incentive journey.
When dealing with a tighter incentive travel budget, many companies are hesitant about choosing a specific trip, as they are afraid of disappointing their team if they don’t go to a luxurious or exotic destination.
However, not all incentive trips need to go to the other end of the world. Sometimes, a creative and fun local trip can produce similar results in terms of motivating your employees and getting them excited.
Even if your incentive journey is just a weekend getaway to another city, that can be a fun experience if you take the time to plan it out and make sure that everyone has a good time.
In the end, while the journey itself is definitely important, building a stronger connection between team members can be just as vital, and that camaraderie can transfer to the workplace even well after the trip.
Collect Feedback After the Trip
Finally, if you want to develop an effective and budget-friendly incentive travel program, you need to be able to steadily improve on your planning process and maximize every penny in the budget.
To do that, you need to conduct surveys and talk to your employees, asking them about what they liked and didn’t like about the trip.
Remember, these are individuals with their own interests and preferences, and since the incentive trip is a reward, you should treat it as such and make sure that the majority of people enjoy it.
Over time, you should be able to refine your trips and customize them to make each the best journey possible for everyone involved, which will help you get the most out of the wide range of benefits that incentive travel can offer. I&FMM