Corporate Incentive Trips – Time for Change?
While the benefits of corporate incentive travel are many, Tribal Tracks encourages businesses to consider an exciting new alternative to the traditional model - one with the power to change.
Employees. You couldn’t run your business without them. They are the touchstone to any successful business. The world’s best senior management teams have recognised the benefits of showing appreciation and investing in employee wellbeing. Saying and delivering a ‘thank you’ is the simplest and most effective way to boost morale, engagement, loyalty and productivity, and one of the best ways to do that is with a corporate incentive travel trip.
The benefits of incentive travel as a business propagation tool are relatively well recognised. It can:
Motivate and inspire employees, giving them something to look forward to, making them feel rewarded in their roles.
Encourage and support strong team dynamics, allowing cross-departmental communication and initiatives.
Revive flagging staff, particularly when there has been a significant transformative event in the company, leaving them in need of TLC and revitalisation.
Promote loyalty, dedication and recognition as a ‘good employer’, engendering feelings of value and appreciation, which are then communicated by the employee to the world at large.
Boost employee health and wellbeing.
Bond teams who are struggling to communicate, removing them from their office environment where roles may have become entrenched.
Be used to identify and strengthen emerging leaders who can use a retreat to focus on their personal growth.
Benefit a Senior Management Team, using time away from the office to focus on company growth and direction.
Be of more long-term benefit to an employee than a traditional cash reward which may end up being used on household bills.
Be tailored to the businesses’ budget, and, with the monetary value of the trip being opaque, can often cost less than cash bonuses, which are transparent and consequently, need to be pitched at a perceived acceptable level.
Okay. All good. So why isn’t everyone doing it?
Incentive trips are traditionally seen as quite a hard sell to the board, or to the shareholders, or to whoever is on the decision-making team to authorise such a trip. In part, I believe that this is largely due to the traditional, hedonistic model of the corporate incentive trip - what I refer to as the ‘what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas’ trip. The potential benefits fade into the background as the decision maker cannot get past this perception, wondering why and how the investment of funds can be justified for a glorified (and extended) Christmas party. How can that be justified in a world of decreasing margins and millennials?
That is why we think it is time for a different model.
We at Tribal Tracks are passionate believers that incentive trips need not conform to the hedonistic model, but instead, can be transformative not only for the employee and your business, but also to the communities to which they travel.
An incentive trip with a purpose, giving back to local communities by using local guides and partners, will not only provide the benefits listed above, but will also provide a greater, more justifiable aim. Project-based trips, where employees carry out a project in a local village, can be aligned to your core business or to your stated charitable objectives and are extremely powerful. By way of example, a construction company could build a hut for a women’s cooperative in a remote community or a water company could install a pump for crop irrigation.
This creates an altogether different trip – one which is a much easier sell – it’s altruistic, meets CSR objectives and provides exceptional PR, but most importantly, in addition to all the other benefits, it gives your employees a huge injection of self worth.
Corporate incentive trips with the power to change - an altogether different proposition.