Showing employees recognition for outstanding effort is a tested and effective method of motivating groups and driving growth. That being said a poorly planned trip will cost the company money and have little to no impact on corporate production. This can be seen in this survey that, among other things, suggests that knowing more about your employees as well as your specific vertical can make optimizing a trip not only possible but very profitable as a long term strategy.
Here at Moniker, we've collected what we believe are the most important aspects of your trip and summarized them.
Hire an Incentive Travel Agency
Looking to hire an third-party incentive travel agency may initially sound like an additional expense. But it can truly be a budget-saving move, and make what may have been an average trip into something extraordinary. While your team saves both time and money, the agency can extend your capacity to offer programming, scheduling, insight into itineraries and creating a finely curated experience for your attendees.
Planning incentive travel is a complex beast and one that comes with high expectations. Think travel arrangements, accommodations, dietaries, food, itineraries and contingency plans that ultimately arrive. Professionals ensure your money is spent wisely and planning is stress-free.
Trip leaders are then liberated to do what they do best – make the trip count by infusing it with corporate culture and all the little extras that make incentive trips so worthwhile. While you’re taking care of that, the incentive travel agency handles the details, sparing your staff the often frustrating work of getting your people where they need to be on time and for the right price.
Set Your Goals
Each trip should have a clear objective with obvious KPIs that everyone is aware of. Increased team building, cross departmental cooperation, the formation of “tiger teams” and more. Understanding the goal of incentive travel is critical, and not just for management. The more the team knows about what they are working towards the more they can participate in the success of the trip.
Make every event on the trip reflect a part of the overall purpose of the trip and define success for individual events to indicate success.
Know Your People
Know the individuals and the groups on your trip. This may seem unimportant because everyone loves the beach, or music, and fine dining, right? Even if that is all true knowing the makeup of your group is important to maximize the ROI on the trip.
If you have a seasoned sales team that’s been working together for 13 years, then getting to know each other is a waste of time and working together is something they have been doing professionally for over a decade. Building on the past experience of the team and taking the group to a higher level will be the focus. Using what already works to push productivity further will be the key here.
If the group is a mix of departments that rarely interact then the focus will be cooperation, team building and understanding. Building trust between departments would be a powerful outcome in this situation.
Pick the Right Time
Relieving stress and rewarding a job well done is a great reason to plan a corporate trip. If you have high impact deliverables due the week you are leaving however the trip will cause more problems than it solves. Plan the trip far enough in advance that the company can plan releases, meetings, and projects around the trip and not create additional pressure. Consider the following:
- The Weather
- Quarterly Requirements
- Additional Planned Vacations (be sure to include everyone)
Six months in advance should allow you to get the locations and vendors you would like in place as well as taking advantage of price breaks by pre-purchasing lodgings, gear, vendors etc. 12 months in advance would make this value higher but at that point you run the risk of interfering with unforeseen corporate requirements that could come up. Balance the savings with that risk.
Make this trip memorable. Choose locations with unique opportunities for events the group has never been a part of. (Check out our other blog post regarding our top location recommendations!) This will allow the group to create experiences they can share only within their particular team adding a layer of camaraderie they may have been previously lacking.
Incentive programs can build teams, generate productivity and reward employees for a job well done. These types of trips are specialized and if you need help planning your next, or your first, a best in class Corporate Incentive Travel Agency, Moniker can help. Or are you not convinced yet? Head to 'Our Trips' page to see some of the spectacular events we've planned for our clients and get inspired for your next incentive trip!