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The Hidden Value of Travel as a Sales Incentive

Cash bonuses are great. Few of us would turn down a fistful of money if someone handed it to us, but how motivating is that, compared to the opportunity to travel? Turns out, not as much as businesses seem to think. Recent studies show a whopping 96% of employees say they are profoundly motivated by […]

Cash bonuses are great. Few of us would turn down a fistful of money if someone handed it to us, but how motivating is that, compared to the opportunity to travel?

Turns out, not as much as businesses seem to think.

Recent studies show a whopping 96% of employees say they are profoundly motivated by travel. These experiences that get workers out of the office with family in a location and at a time of their own choosing create memories that will last the rest of their lives.

The icing on the travel cake? According to the study, 72% of team members who earn travel rewards say it makes them more loyal to the company.

Mark Houck is Director of New Business Development for Xceleration, and in his career, he has seen travel incentives do wonders for companies that offer them– everything from recruiting new talent to retaining and motivating top performers. Some of the biggest impact he has witnessed has been to a company’s bottom line.

Starting with the intangibles, Houck says travel incentives have a ripple effect around the office.

“Everybody comes back re-energized, and they can brag about their trip to their office coworkers and share photos,” Houck says.  “That’s very powerful to the company.”

The Value of Travel

You can get a lot of mileage out of letting your employees choose their destination and when they get to go, rather than telling them when and where and then tagging along with them.

For the employee who took the trip, there is an additional residual effect.

“It offers them an opportunity to relieve some stress, come back re-energized and start a new goal in their mind on how they’re going to achieve the trip for next year,” Houck adds.

Constant promotion and reinforcement of the incentive internally magnifies the employee’s desire to earn the trips. Combine that with the ability to choose your own destination and travel window, and Houck says you have one powerful motivating tool.

“It is going to ultimately push the employee or the salesperson to do whatever it takes. To set a goal in their mind that this is where I want to go, and then figure out a way to get it done.”

You may be thinking that the cost of all these potential trips would outweigh the advantages.

You’d be wrong, Houck says.

“If your top sales person has a travel incentive of 10% over last year’s goal, that represents significant revenue to the company,” he explains. “Once that goal is reached, the company pays a small percentage of that for a trip. That’s a big win for the company, as they’re paying a relatively minimal portion of that revenue in the reward option.”

Like the rising tide that lifts all boats, this type of incentive affects everyone.  The company wins when revenue increases, and the employees are motivated to perform and are appreciative of the company sending them away for a few days to celebrate their accomplishments.

 

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