Offering employees memorable experiences through travel is a great and meaningful way to show them how much you value their contributions to your company. But what exactly are individual travel rewards, and how do they work? What types of employee travel rewards are there? How can employee travel rewards work for any business?
Employee Travel Rewards: Benefits of Rewarding Employees in the Workplace
Before we get into travel rewards in particular, let’s take a step back and look at the importance of rewarding employees in general. When you show employees you appreciate them by rewarding them for their hard work, they’ll feel like their contributions really mean something to your organization.
This can do wonders for company culture, employee satisfaction, and employee retention. Let’s look at the benefits of employee rewards in more detail.
Improves Company Culture
Effective employee recognition doesn’t just feel good, but it can also help your business thrive. It can achieve this by fostering a positive company culture. That’s because recognizing employees makes them feel happier with themselves and their job. And employees who are satisfied with their jobs are more likely to have a positive attitude at work. This also means they’re better able to build positive relationships with their team members.
So, employee rewards don’t just affect the individual. They have an impact on the entire team. This results in a boost in morale, which can inspire your team to do their best work.
Increases Employee Satisfaction
When employees feel a boost in self-esteem and are satisfied with their jobs, this can have a positive impact on company culture. According to a recent study, organizations that offered employees immediate, frequent rewards for completing small tasks saw workers who had more interest and enjoyment in their work. As a result, they felt more motivated to perform well and continue completing tasks.
This study shows that when employees are engaged with their jobs, they’re more likely to perform at a high level. This is because when you’re rewarding employees, they feel like you care about their personal happiness—and not just about your organization’s net revenues.
As a result, loyalty develops, which helps build employee buy-in to the company. From there, employees aim to set higher goals that have a positive energy behind it. And this positivity is contagious with colleagues, creating a ripple effect across the entire organization.
Boosts Employee Retention
It only makes sense that employee rewards boost retention. People are more willing to stay at a place where they feel appreciated. When you reward employees for their exceptional performance, you’re not only showing them you value their contributions, but you’re also encouraging them to keep up their hard work.
They might also feel compelled to work even harder. A base salary encourages employees to work at the level you require of them to keep their job. On the other hand, reward systems encourage employees to perform at a high level and stay with your organization long term.
On the flipside, lack of recognition is one of the most common reasons why employees quit. And a high turnover rate can not only negatively affect your company’s image, but it can also lead to a toxic work culture. If employees leave because they’re not being recognized, it tells remaining workers that it’s not the best working environment.
How Individual Employee Travel Rewards Benefit Your Business
It’s clear that employee recognition can impact your bottom line. And the great news is that you can start developing a rewards program that offers memorable experiences– one of the most valuable things to many people– as part of a full-featured reward program. You can do that through employee travel rewards.
Below are the many benefits of travel rewards for your company and employees.
Travel Rewards Motivate Employees to Constantly Deliver and Improve
To achieve true success, you need engaged, motivated employees who are always striving to improve and deliver beyond expectations. You can do this with travel rewards programs. Travel rewards can create a sense of anticipation and excitement.
We all know that people love to travel. According to a survey, more than half (53%) of U.S. adults believe traveling is essential to learning about new cultures and gaining new ways of life. This tells us that Americans are seeking more culturally immersive experiences. And what better way to give your employees that than through travel rewards?
But, you may be wondering, what does this have to do with employee productivity? Employees looking forward to a well-deserved vacation may see it as the “light at the end of the tunnel”, which can inspire discretionary effort and motivation during late work nights or tough projects.
And employees who’ve already benefited from travel will remember their experiences. They’ll relive every delicious bite, fun activity, and exotic location– and recall that their workplace provided them with the opportunity. Knowing another rendezvous is in store if they keep up their performance, they’re motivated to work hard.
Customized and Tailored Experiential Rewards Are Valued
Because every employee is an individual and has different tastes, preferences, and interests, tailoring experiential rewards are critical. One employee might love a safari destination, while another worker may prefer a luxurious beach holiday.
When designing a travel rewards program, you can be as creative as you need to be to customize each travel experience for individual employees. This not only shows them you’ve done your homework, but it also demonstrates that your company genuinely cares about them as people.
Sincere Recognition Retains Employees
Each year, companies are losing an estimated $11 billion in revenue due to employee turnover. And lack of recognition and appreciation is one of the top reasons employees are leaving their jobs. Travel reward programs can help alleviate this pain point.
Showing employees you value their work and investing in them with experiential rewards they can look forward to leads to greater workplace satisfaction.
Travel Refreshes Employees and is Good for Overall Well Being
Rewarding employees with a trip can help them reduce stress, increase creativity, and boost confidence. This not only benefits individual team members, but your company as well.
That’s because when employees return to work, they often feel re-energized and rejuvenated, ready to tackle their next goals. And when it comes to wellness, corporate buyers truly believe in its importance, with 86% highlighting the importance of incorporating wellness (i.e.yoga, healthy meals, etc.) into travel reward programs.
Travel Rewards Help Employees Cross Items Off Their Bucket List
Experiential rewards that involve travel are often successful because they tap into our innate human instinct for exploration. People find excitement in learning more about the world they live in and are often fulfilled when they can say that they’ve done something they’ve been wanting to do for a long time.
Often, employees might not be able to afford a travel excursion due to life commitments that demand money and investment. But travel rewards programs afford employees the opportunity to tick items off their bucket list, guilt-free.
The Gift of Travel is More Memorable Than Money
When organizations give employees cash rewards, workers view these rewards as simply “more salary”. But non-cash incentives with non-trivial monetary value—like travel rewards—tend to have a more emotional impact.
That’s because you’re offering experiences where employees can take pictures, collect mementos, and make memories. This means that travel rewards hold more sentimental value, making them more meaningful and memorable than, say, a branded mug or a gift card.
Different Types of Employee Travel Rewards
By incorporating travel into your incentive or rewards program, you can provide greater employee satisfaction and a higher ROI.
If you’re looking for different travel reward ideas to show employees you value them, here are a few that can boost company culture and morale.
- Teamwork for team excursions: Take teamwork to the next level by encouraging employees to work as teams and enjoy rewards together. Offer excursions to sports games or day trips to beautiful places like Napa Valley.
- Team fun and intrigue: Act out a murder mystery. This can take place anywhere, from a holiday cabin to a convention center, and can take on any theme.
- History & engagement: Send high-performing employees on a history trip to learn more about your company’s origins. This can inspire employees and deepen relationships with your company.
- Make the journey its own reward: Whether you’re taking your employees on a ski trip or beach adventure, use the journey as a way to reward them. For example, you can hold reward banquets on the bus, and let awardees walk the aisle to receive their rewards.
- Host corporate scavenger hunts: Host scavenger hunts in different travel locations and let employees explore the new location. Even ask them to bring back “proof” of their excursion with a memento or souvenir.
- Offer a CEO’s retreat: Award top performers with a week at the CEO’s cabin or vacation home.
Other travel reward ideas include:
- Wine country visits
- Hiking excursion in the mountains
- A food tour through Italy or France
- Hot air balloon rides
- Glamping or camping
- Company cruises
- Tropical beach escape
- Historical tour of a prominent city
- Weeklong country-hopping tour
- Hawaii beach destinations
- Helicopter tours over canyons
- A retreat in the mountains
Some of the most popular destinations for employee travel rewards include:
- New York City
- Asheville, NC
- Las Vegas, NV
- Miami, FL
- Napa Valley
- San Francisco
- Alaskan cruise
- The Masters
- The Super Bowl
- Golf Resorts in CA or FL
- Disney World
Related: Making the Case for Travel
Tips for Incorporating Travel into Your Employee Rewards Program
Determine Your Goals
Figure out why you want to incorporate travel into your existing employee rewards program. Setting specific goals gives you a better chance of achieving them with travel rewards. For example, whether you want to boost employee morale or increase productivity, you might choose a specific location that can help with each objective.
If you’re looking to help your employees grow professionally and personally, providing them with a rich cultural experience can be a great option. This might mean having a budget for international destinations that offer culturally authentic experiences.
Determine who you’ll be rewarding and for which actions. Will you be targeting sales teams? If so, what metrics will you look at to determine top performers? Set a target, and reward employees who meet or exceed those targets.
Ask Your Staff for Ideas
Travel is only a reward if your staff wants to take the trips you choose. So, be sure to ask your staff for destination and activity ideas. Gather up a list of potential countries, cities, accommodations, excursions, and activities.
Include these options in a survey to determine what employees are interested in. Consider leaving the responses open-ended to allow employees to suggest any useful travel resources and discount programs.
As you design trips for your travel rewards program, include exclusive amenities and activities to make the experience even more attractive. Being able to plan experiences employees can’t replicate during personal visits can make the trip feel more unique, inspiring employees to work even harder to earn this reward.
Whether it’s a behind-the-scenes tour of a historical site with an expert or an illustrious restaurant with a special menu, reward employees with an experience they’ll remember forever.
Consider Using Employee Recognition Software
With an employee recognition platform, you can streamline your rewards program planning. First you’ll customize the choices, then you’ll let employees choose a reward they’ll enjoy.
This gives the employee a personal choice and will allow you to learn what recipients are interested in, where they want to go, and what they want to do when they travel. As a result, you can continue to deliver a personalized travel experience your employees will love.
Use Employee Rewards Software With Custom Travel Capabilities
With employee recognition and rewards software, you can offer travel experiences that are meaningful and memorable. At Xceleration, we believe in the value of personalized travel to improve company culture and employee wellbeing. Use our platform to offer travel rewards that matter to your employees. To see how our platform can work for your business, feel free to request a demo or reach out to us today.