by Roy Saunderson | March 10, 2014
Roy Saunderson
Incentive travel programs impact top performers and other earners with these reward programs in a powerful way. However, program owners face ever tightening budgets, a necessity for policing stringent criterion to keep the public and stakeholders satisfied, and increasing demands to prove a level of return on investment on monies spent. So, make sure to include these Top 10 Ways to Capitalize on Incentive Travel in your next incentive travel plans.

1. Shine the light on your winners. Go all out to recognize the earners of your incentive travel program by promoting them on your intranet site, in employee newsletters, and by sharing video clips and photographs from the celebration events.

2. Open the doors for the best-of-the-best. Provide your top performers with privileged access to your senior leaders attending the travel program with them. Whether one-on-one or small group sessions, these types of programs truly pave the way for establishing these connections.

3. Birds of a feather flock together. Create opportunities for each year`s winners to network and build relationships with other top performers on location. Share best practices advice learned from business gained with everyone to grow from.

4. Tap into the wealth of successful practices. Design forum discussions with top performers and management to learn each other`s best practices and collaborate on innovative ideas together. Pick on these bright minds and share outcomes in writing.

5. Raise the bar after each trip. Discover by asking what would elevate the motivation and desires of this year`s crop of earners to continue to want to achieve high performance. Find out how your incentive travel award impacted their actions.

6. Make the event experience No. 1. Exciting travel destinations always motivate and reward winners, but you should also shift the focus to what they experience. From how hospitality serves and treats attendees to how your leaders engage and value them on site, it's crucial to pay attention to the overal incentive trip experience.

7. Show earners' impact on business. Connect the dots for incentive trip winners by showing the tangible contributions their work has made financially for the company. Communicate and show how their strengths have strengthened the company.

8. Reinforce company culture and values. Ensure corporate beliefs and culture drive the design, plans and execution of incentive trips. Highlight the intangible benefits of employees feeling recognized and becoming more a part of the organization`s success. And make sure to have lots of fun, too!

9. Reward service employees as well. Incorporate into your selection criteria a realistic percentage of support staff as potential earners. Sales and top performers could never achieve their target results without the help of a great support team.

10. Emphasize the importance of how results were achieved. Top performance is a major criterion for meriting an incentive travel reward. Even more important is exemplifying company values and achieving results the right way. Stretch people by encouraging them with the "why" behind your performance goals.
Incentive columnist Roy Saunderson is author of Giving the Real Recognition Way and Chief Learning Officer of Rideau’s Recognition Management Institute, a consulting a training company which helps leaders and managers get recognition right. He can be reached at [email protected] . Also, check out the library of Real Recognition Radio shows.