hello@sledge.co.uk +44 (0) 208 740 4550

The Power of Incentive Travel

by Gemma | Aug 07, 2019 | Events |

Incentive travel: a reward option used by companies to motivate and recognise, whether that be employees, members/distributors, or customers; providing an end-goal for the target audience. 

This strategy fantastically increases the chance of retaining employees, as well as improving their efficiency and their morale. It will also significantly impact your end customers’ experiences with those you have incentivised, leading to increased sales and profitability for the whole company. What’s the saying? Happy wife, happy life? We’d change it to happy team, increased cash stream (cheesy we know!).

Let us guess what you’re thinking: “That’s all very nice, but why bother with an enhanced incentive when there are simple options such as cash rewards when targets are hit?” Well, that’s just it – although we wouldn’t sniff at it, there’s no effort involved in just a cold hard cash handout. It can be perceived as the easy option – a thank you that feels impersonal. 

Additionally, the global doubling of the middle class over the last 20 years means there’s been a major social shift: The desire for just financial reward is reducing and there’s more demand than ever for that, dare we say it, “once-in-a-lifetime” or “transformational” experience. This is when the perceived value of money is overshadowed by the experience it can purchase. Taking this into account, you can see why as of 2016, 84% of U.S. businesses utilized non-cash incentives and rewards as a method of retaining and engaging. 

Putting in the effort and delivering something that your audience is hungry for really can be all it takes to make an average team great. It can also make recruiting easier when you have a more attractive benefits offering compared to your competitors. This revelation definitely isn’t a secret with the IRF (Incentive Research Foundation) reporting that there’s a growing realization from the C-suite that profitable businesses employ strategic use of rewards and recognition. Increased executive buy-in and growing public awareness of the proven effectiveness of incentives is reflected in the fact that the majority of buyers and sellers report a positive perception of incentive travel. It’s also interesting to note that executives at top performing technology firms are significantly more likely than those at average performing firms to go ahead with an incentive programme. 

So, we assume your next question is, “won’t it be really expensive?”.  Not if you work with an agency (hey, like us at Sledge!) that has fantastic relationships with the right people – such as suppliers on the ground in your chosen destination – leading to fantastic buying power. Working with an agent can really help to manage your expectations of what experiences are possible within your budget. 

Value for money is always at the forefront of the mind, but a memorable and meaningful experience doesn’t always have to cost the earth. Half the time the experiences that are “priceless” don’t have a massive price tag to go with them – it’s about how you deliver them. Including elements that are really important to the attendee – wellness, for example – can give that extra edge to an experience, creating a real emotional connection. 

It’s not all about profit. Incentive travel gives you the chance to say thank you, but it also creates an opportunity to bond. If leaders take the time to socialise, their teams can develop an understanding of the “bigger picture” – and it’s a chance for new ideas to surface over a sangria(or three).

Most importantly, with clever communication, an incentive can push people to surpass their previous achievements, making it a tool that not only retains your team but pushes them to the next level.

We’re hoping your last question is, “Where do I start?” and we can answer that. Get in touch today and we’ll be happy to help you ensure that your “happy team” does indeed “increase the cash stream.”hello@sledge.co.uk