Things that make Incentive Travel Programs Successful for Business

Over-water bungalows in Bora Bora, Tahiti

Over-water bungalows in Bora Bora, Tahiti

Many corporations have already realized the benefits of incentive programs, but some are reluctant to participate, for fear the program may not be a success.  Understanding how the programs work can quickly alleviate any apprehension. An incentive travel trip acts as a motivational tool to improve productivity and achieve business objectives. Such programs allow participants to earn a travel reward based on a specifically defined level of achievement set forth by the company. The following are essential elements that work together to form the core foundation of a successful travel program:

  • The earning and selection criteria for the reward are clearly tied to business objectives.
  • Communication about the program and the progress participants are making toward goals is clear and consistent.
  • Detailed records are kept that both follow and prove the productivity of the earners and their contributions to the company’s financial performance.

Additional components that lend to the success of an incentive travel program include the open recognition of earners, networking opportunities for top performers so they can build relationships with both colleagues and management, collaboration between top performers and management concerning best practices and business ideas, and maximizing the motivation of current and potential future earners through the promise of a future continuance of the incentive travel program.

The following has been proven to be a direct result of a company’s promotion and provisioning of incentive travel programs for top earners in its respective business: the growing of a more positive organizational culture, the positive influence stemming from employee recognition throughout a business, the ability of a business to retain its top performers, rather than losing them to a competing company, and the sustaining of an employee’s drive to accomplish and exceed set individual and companywide objectives.

One of the strongest benefits an incentive travel program has on a business is its overwhelmingly positive influence on business culture. Employees most often respond very positive to recognition and being rewarded for a job well done. In addition, incentive travel programs boost employee competition. Moreover, though some may see the following as a potentially disastrous effect, the colleague competition, as it pertains to incentive travel programs, have resulted in positive gains for a business, and most often, those colleagues competing against each other often resulted in all of the competitors maximizing quotas, achieving goals, and more people qualifying for the opportunity to experience incentive travel programs firsthand.

As you can see, there are many components that make incentive travel programs successful for businesses – so many that it would be wise for your company to look into providing incentive travel programs for your employees.


Choosing the Best Exotic Location for an Incentive Travel Program

incentivetravelHow to choose the best exotic location for an incentive travel program depends heavily on what a person’s personal definition of the word “exotic” is. When most people think of an exotic location, they think of tropical islands that have never been heard of. The truth of the matter is that everyone’s definition of “exotic” is subjective, meaning one person might think a tropical island is exotic, while another might think that a hard to reach, mountainous terrain with heavy snowfall is exotic. Choosing the best exotic location for an incentive travel program relies on the evaluation of the corporate executive responsible for putting together the program and issuing the incentive to the company’s employees. Therefore, if a company wishes to choose the most popular overall opinion of the best exotic location to send its employees deemed worthy of its benefit, they can opt to have a vote on the type of location where everyone should go. As an example, the company can have a vote to see how many more people prefer going to a warm, beached filled destination versus traveling to a mountainous location where snowboarding and skiing is considered the best in the world. In this manner, at least the majority will be satisfied.

Another way to go about choosing the best exotic location for an incentive travel program is the person in charge of putting this together for his or her business can contact an incentive travel company, such as Incentive Travel Solutions, and find out the types and availabilities of locations to where employees who are rewarded this benefit can go. This way, employees can get a specific virtual tour of each city or location, as well as what these places have to offer and what can be expected when arriving at the destination and spending time there. Contacting an incentive travel expert is a great ideas because they can give you specific facts as to whether a location will be tropical alone or perhaps include a city within a country rich with culture and sights.

Alone with location details, a representative from an incentive travel company such as Incentive Travel Solutions, can tell you which destinations and locations have been the most successful and rewarding, or which places are the most popular to which to travel. This way, you can avoid the back and forth that may come from providing several options to your employees, plus it will give you a solid idea of which vacations have been the most enticing, exciting, and rewarding for other businesses and employees.

Incentive Travel Solutions can help your business narrow down the options available concerning the locations your employees can be sent. An abundance of information will be made available for the locations offered through the incentive travel programs, which will help whomever is putting this all together for your company pinpoint the best place that will appease the masses.

Antigua & Barbuda An Incentive Travel Featured Destination

Antigua and Barbuda are twin isles located between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The two masses lie in the center of Leeward Islands, which is often referred to as the “Land of 365 Beaches.” Culture in the area has been immensely influenced by British customs since it was once part of the countries empire. Both isles reside to the southeast of Puerto Rico as part of the North American continent. The terrain of these islands was developed by limestone formations in addition to volcanic activity. They are low-lying land masses that have become popular for their beaches. Climates in the region are toned-down by the northeast trade winds and precipitation remains minimal due to the low elevation of each island.

Local History

Sir Christopher Codrington was the first to arrive in the beautiful lands of Antigua and Barbuda. The enterprising man came to the region in 1684 to determine if it was suitable for sugar cultivation. It was a successful venture where cultivation remained prominent on Antigua for approximately fifty years. In the mid-18th century, over one-hundred fifty processing windmills were scattered across the island and can still be viewed today by visitors. Many have been transformed into bars, shops, or restaurants; however, the original mill on Codrington’s estate has been fully restored. Antigua grew into a significant port and commercial colony at the end of the eighteenth century. It was then referred to as the “gateway to the Caribbean” since its position could be used to control numerous sailing routes. Several historical sites were built to protect the land from outside attacks during the colonization period and remain standing for visitors to view.

Things to See & Do

Of the two islands, Barbuda remains fairly undeveloped while Antigua has been slightly commercialized. Barbuda delivers white sanded beaches in a peaceful, mostly unaltered setting. The activities offered on this undeveloped mass of land are centered on nature. Travelers are able to participate in beachcombing, fishing, hunting, and resort offered fun. Resorts on both isles allow travelers to take part in activities such as:

  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Diving
  • Snorkeling
  • Beach Basking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hiking
  • Bird Watching

Visitors have a few specific points of interest when staying on Barbuda including a trip to the Frigate Bird Sanctuary. This sanctuary consists of stunning beaches mixed with shipwreck sites and gorgeous reef formations. The island, reachable by plane or boat from Antigua, houses luxury accommodations in addition to small, cozy hotels. Antigua is more modernized with a variety of things to do including eateries and shopping opportunities. Individuals visiting the island should take some time to see the best view of the English Harbour from Shirley Heights or the creative works of art housed at Harmony Hall museum. This particular museum plays a major role in the area arts community and holds many events to show off local creations. The Museum of Antigua and Barbuda presents the story of these two land masses from their first formation to present day. Both isles provide countless attractions, sightseeing opportunities, and some of the best beach scenery in the world.

Travel Incentives: Generating a Plan to Boost Organizational Achievement

Objectives are the first and foremost item of assessment as an organization begins to develop a travel incentive package. Selected goals must be specific, achievable, measurable, appropriately timed, and support the culture of an organization. Difficult to achieve objectives or those of ambitious nature are exciting, but can often lead to disappointment for everyone involved. While the criteria should be challenging, every determined goal must be reachable by applying a valid amount of effort. Objectives that cannot be measured or are not timed right make it highly difficult for anyone to earn the reward. This creates a level of discouragement capable of harming any future trip oriented efforts. For example, putting a program in place for boosting profits at the slowest time of the year is a good idea; however, goals should be set in accordance with average profits in order to avoid requiring participants to try to reach unreasonable sales totals. Timing has to be in sync with the desired goal to receive the most optimal results.

The Basics of Reward Program Design

A trip oriented reward program is frequently open-ended or close-ended; however, a company can set up a package falling between the two. Open programs consist of a planned set of objectives where a precise result has been laid out. They target the largest percentage of average performers, but also make it difficult to budget due to an unknown number or earners. Close-ended programs set an exact number of individuals who can qualify for the award and are easier to budget. The biggest drawback of this choice is the possibility of alienating certain people within a company. A good example is someone making the sales quota, but not being given the opportunity to receive the award. These programs also allow the same individuals to consistently win the offered trip. Resentment among coworkers is common when the same person is awarded the prize. A policy limiting the number of repeat wins is a good idea when a close-ended program will be used. Multi-level approaches with a mix of both basic types allow everyone to have a chance at the opportunity and still supply the recognition repeat earners need to continue performing above par.

Trip awards pay for themselves when a company carefully plans out and budgets the event. Administration costs typically fluctuate between five and fifteen percent depending on the travel incentives intricacy along with the amount of required analysis. Communication, promotion, and given awards additionally contribute to the total package cost. The time period designated for participants to earn the reward must align with the objectives. Diminishing sales might require a short term plan while quarterly improvements during a healthy profit era are ideal for a long term reward program. It is important to remember that federal government regulations view the reward as a form of income. Market value, program type, and merchandise costs could be required to be reported as part of each earners income. These factors must be taken into consideration and remain a priority as a company starts planning their travel package.

Incentive Travel Programs Aid in Alleviating Undesirable Employee Behaviors

Members of upper management are directly responsible for ensuring employees remain motivated. A low morale work environment makes it more difficult for an organization to achieve goals or to maintain a productive staff since there is no motivation to excel. An executive or supervisor can easily pinpoint this environment.  Individuals spend an extensive amount of time in the office gossiping, are slow to complete tasks, and maintain only the minimum productivity necessary to earn their pay. It is the long term disadvantages that truly hurt the company since continued morale decreases affect sales, hiring, retention, performance, objective completion, and consumer satisfaction.

Employees who consistently come in late or do the bare minimum are not making a productive contribution to the company. Low morale is reflected on every sales call or as a staff completes projects for clients. The products or services offered by an organization have reduced quality when this type of environment is present. If even the slightest decrease in enthusiasm has been noticed, it is time to begin making an action plan. Incentive travel programs are one of the easiest and most justifiable methods for alleviating a noticed lack of motivation. They deliver long term performance enhancements and serve as an inspirational tool for continued success.

What Benefits Are Received With a Properly Planned Travel Package?

The tangible advantages of goal achievement and increased financial standing are common to these programs. Companies additionally experience a variety of intangible benefits when a program is carried out appropriately. Participant behaviors change as individuals are motivated to receive the end result. A positive environment and happier employees leads to:

  • Better Retention
  • Heightened Engagement
  • Support of Organizational Culture
  • Improved Networking Opportunities
  • Increased Enthusiasm
  • Individual or Group Recognition

A travel package is ideal because it supplies a desirable reward for meeting a defined set of criteria. The goals must be achievable, support organizational objectives, and understandable by every participant. By encouraging employees to perform wanted behaviors, a business is able point staff members in a direction that promotes organizational success. Attendance, motivational, and productivity improvements help the company remain competitive. The promise of a unique destination encourages individuals to be involved in the organizations future thus resulting in amplified staff engagement.

Incentive travel programs allow upper management and top performers to network or come together at a defined location. This type of gathering creates an environment where managers are able to gain insight regarding why earners put out the additional effort to have the possibility of winning the reward. The information received from supplied networking opportunities helps a company implement better practices to further boost productivity. Travel packages also give each individual participating in the program something worthwhile to work toward. Employees become motivated to have the experience provided by the selected trip and gain the same inspiration as another opportunity arises. The supplied recognition encourages others to put forth the required effort to receive the same experience described by earners as they return from a unique destination. Trip incentives are a rewarding choice any time a business desires to boost morale in the workplace.