Motivated people sell
more, produce higher-quality products, service customers more efficiently,
and work harder to control costs. They have the best attendance records
and tend to work with a more spirited, positive attitude. Motivated people
make a greater commitment to achieving management's objectives by
improving their personal performance.
We all want a
motivated staff but what is the best approach? Recognition in front of
peers, pats on the back, time-off and merchandise awards are all effective
motivators. But to really exceed expectations, an incentive group travel
program can deliver amazing bottom-line results.
According to Incentive
Magazine, companies choose travel awards because:
desirable and highly promotable
appeals to people’s sense of adventure and discovery
lasting, special memories
Group travel affords opportunities to forge
company loyalty and teamwork
But any business
considering the introduction of incentives into its marketing strategy has
the right to ask, “Why incentives? We're already paying people to
produce—why should we do more?''
It’s very simple.
People, no matter how well paid, establish a level of effort or
performance somewhere below 100% of their potential or ability. Once a
person has reached his or her own personal plateau, the drive for
additional productivity levels off. This is most apparent in sales people.
Industry experts agree that the top 20% of any sales force accounts for
80% of a company's business. These top salespeople are already well
compensated for their selling efforts . . . and the other 80% don't seem
to produce more by dangling the carrot of additional cash before them. All
of these people could earn more at any time, simply by selling more. In
other words, while money might initially serve as a strong force to
motivate, it’s not enough to spur a person’s maximum potential.
Now dangle an exciting
trip to Florida or an exotic adventure to Aruba and you’ll see why travel
incentives motivate people out of their self-set plateau and encourages
Developing a plan is
easier than you might think. A full-service incentive company can help
you formulate and implement an effective strategy with just a few simple
Define Your Objective
The objective of the vast majority of travel incentive programs is to
increase profits by selling more of a company's products or services.
Other objectives are not specifically sales oriented and may be to improve
customer service, reduce call time, increase safety, decrease absenteeism
or increase line production.
Having defined the goal you wish to accomplish, next select the group of
people you wish to motivate. If possible, try to include everyone in an
incentive campaign who can affect the end result of the program.
Establish The Program
Incentive programs usually run from six months to a year. This relatively
long time period is usually necessary to justify the cost of the award.
Since travel is a large award, and since participants earn that award by
additional or incremental business or cost savings, you must make certain
you give them sufficient time and opportunity to win.
Will you use group travel, merchandise, awards, recognition or a
combination of all of these?
Select the Destination
Many criteria are used to select the perfect destination for your
incentive travel program — after all you will be sending your most
important people there. Unlike a travel agent, your incentive coordinator
will research the demographics and preferences of the prospective winner’s
and supply destination choices tailored to your audience.
Establish Program Rules
You, and your Incentive expert, have defined your objective, determined
the program participants, set the length of the campaign and selected the
travel destination. The next step is to establish the program rules. When
structuring the rules of your program, make certain that:
They are simple and easy to understand
The goals are attainable
You are rewarding a participant commensurately with the effort needed to
win a travel award
The results are measurable
Determine Incentive Budget
Even though a company must initially outlay a large sum of capital to
finance the incentive program, it’s important to note that a successful
incentive program will stimulate a monetary increase and it pays for
itself. Sales, dealer or consumer incentive programs are funded through a
portion of their incremental gains: that new revenue or profits the
programs produce. Non-sales, safety, suggestion or other employee programs
pay for themselves in the long run by lowering the costs of insurance and
medical claims, or handling errors, returns, turnover, etc.
Promote Your Program
Good promotion is the key to a successful incentive. It introduces the
plan, serves as a constant reminder to participants about the program
rules and award opportunity, and motivates people to action.
9. Reap the Rewards
Now everyone in your organization is excited and pumped up to do their
best in order to win the fabulous trip. Sales are booming, customer
service has improved and overall morale has improved immeasurably. Your
incentive coordinator has organized an exciting, once-in-a-lifetime
itinerary and sees to every detail during the trip. Winners feel like
kings and queens and return refreshed, relaxed and rejuvenated.
10. Evaluate the
Consider quantitative and qualitative aspects of the program to determine
ROI (return on investment) and the bottom-line results.
Now, all that’s left for you to do is relax on the beach or hit the links
with your winners…after all, you deserve it for being so motivated to
Jill Snodgrass is President of Daily Plan-It, a full-service Incentive,
Meeting and Special Event company based in Jefferson City.