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Alleviating the Risk of Travel Incentives

Risk.  It’s ok to admit you think about it a lot. In the business world, we seldom make a decision without first examining two things: What is the ROI? What are the Risks? We’ve previously discussed the ROI of offering travel as a sales incentive here, and here, and we wouldn’t be doing our jobs […]

Risk.  It’s ok to admit you think about it a lot.

In the business world, we seldom make a decision without first examining two things:

What is the ROI?

What are the Risks?

We’ve previously discussed the ROI of offering travel as a sales incentive here, and here, and we wouldn’t be doing our jobs if we didn’t discuss the risk and how to best alleviate it.

The fact is, yes, there is some risk involved in offering travel as a reward.  We won’t go into all the things that can happen while your rock star employees are seeing the sights and enjoying their trip on your dime.  Admittedly, it’s a long list.

However, nothing on that list should prevent you from providing travel as an incentive to your sales staff, according to Laura Hildenbrandt, Director of Travel Design for Xceleration.

“We have found that the immense appreciation that the traveler has for receiving such an award far outweighs any potential downside,” she says. “Travel interruptions or unforeseen issues with our travelers have never become a liability or an issue for the company.”

After nearly three decades in the business of corporate and incentive travel, Hildenbrandt has seen virtually everything. The main reason risk has never been a factor is diligence – starting with a list of terms and conditions that remove the responsibility from the company sending the individual on the trip.

“We customize the terms and conditions to fit each individual company and to align with not only their policies but also their approach to their employees and sales people,” she says. “We customize this language to fit each individual company and make sure the company has approved these terms and conditions through their legal department.”

Alleviating Travel Risk

Alleviating risk in offering travel as a reward is a little like seeing into the future. A good rewards program anticipates problems before they happen and prepares for anything.

It goes beyond that, though, starting even before the employee has booked their trip. Hildenbrandt’s staff steers travelers away from certain regions of the world if things are getting dicey. For example, during hurricane season they advise against booking trips to areas that could be affected by storms.

As for man-made dangers, Xceleration is proactive by registering each international traveler with the U.S. State Department. This means if something occurs, they are the first to be accounted for and assisted because they are on that list.

“We have someone on call 24/7 and also work closely with a company that provides 24-hour international assistance in situations like that, Hildenbrandt adds. “The biggest part is just knowing that things DO happen, what those potential things could be, and already know our action steps in the event of an issue.”

Putting in the same attention to detail if things go awry as they do in planning the trip is what separates Xceleration, Hildenbrandt, and her staff from others who offer travel incentives.

“On the front end, when everything is good and fun and exciting, we’re feeding that and supporting all of that,” Hildenbrandt explains. “But then on the back end, when something goes wrong, we take all that stress, or as much stress as possible, away from the person it is happening to. It’s why our clients really love what we do.”

The bottom line here is a good, complete rewards program will alleviate risk.

Sending your top performers and their families on a well-deserved vacation to an exotic location shouldn’t keep you up at night.

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