This article was originally written by Linda Bustos, provided courtesy of Human Services Directory (www.hrdirectory.org).
Corporate incentive travel is a great way to motivate and reward your valuable employees. Incentive travel can be group or individual, and the destination can be local or international. But every successful incentive travel program begins with careful planning.
The following are tips to help you plan a corporate travel program that fits your company’s culture, size and available budget:
1. Determine your corporate incentive program goals. In specific terms, establish what the incentive program should accomplish. This could be an increase in sales, increase in production output or profits, or a reduction in defective products, sales returns or lost contracts. Be sure to assign a value to the improvement or reduction - a percentage, absolute number of units or contracts, or a dollar figure.
2. Select the target group for the program. This could be management, employees, salespeople, or even customers.
3. Discover what the target’s values, interests and preferences through paper surveys or interviews. Then browse our corporate incentives guide to match up preferences with available packages in your budget range.
4. Considering past performance and employee behavior, establish reasonable tasks for your target group.
5. Make sure you have a performance tracking system in place with a clear way to measure incentive program results.
6. Brainstorm what obstacles may exist to the success of the incentive program. This could be current employee morale, organizational structure or market conditions.
7. Determine whether the program will be managed internally or outsourced to an agency.
8. Understand applicable tax implications. Travel can be taxable to recipients under certain conditions, and special tax forms may be required.
9. When selecting a corporate incentive travel company, make sure it agrees to fulfill what is promised for your budgeted cost, and that you understand its cancellation policies.
10. At the end of your program, survey winners and non-winners to determine whether the program was successful in meeting the objective.
Corporate Travel on a Smaller Budget
Even if you can’t afford to whisk your top performers away to Europe on a private jet, you can still reward your employees with incentive travel that they can enjoy.
If you can afford to send your team away on a teambuilding retreat, it doesn’t have to be far away. Campsites and resorts, even a day on a chartered boat can create a memorable experience. For individuals, it’s a better idea to send your recipient somewhere exotic enough to be memorable. If possible, allowing a spouse or children to accompany your employee is also a good idea.
An employee incentive getaway generally lasts from three nights to a full week, but weekend getaways can also work for smaller budgets. Accommodation could be in a bed and breakfast. Check travel and hotel websites often to catch their “travel best bets.”
For any corporate incentive travel program to accomplish its goal, you must determine how much you can spend, what options are available and what people want. And you must anticipate potential problems both within and without your organization. A clear system for measuring results will help you with future planning. Even on a smaller budget, corporate incentive travel can benefit your organization.
Linda Bustos is the Director of Marketing for Image X Media, a full service web design firm in Vancouver.