The Incentive Research Foundation released a new white paper called “Anatomy of a Successful Incentive Travel Program.” (fyi - it's the first on the list and you must provide email address to download - I know, I know - but they didn't ask me.)
The white paper is an overview and analysis of one company’s group travel reward program and showed that these type of incentives have a clear, measurable and positive impact on corporate culture and employee performance.
The IRF also showed that there was a "ripple effect" on the economy of the region where an incentive travel program is held – but most companies are only worried about their results – not whether Senor Frogs got a bump in late night business. While I understand the need to promote the use of travel as an award media (the IRF is after all, an industry association) whether the award influences the economy at the destination shouldn’t be your reason for doing a travel program. (Unless you own Senor Frogs.)
Taking a Different View
But, rather than simply spit out the results, I thought it would be more fun to juxtapose the results of the study against what most companies do – sort of showing the “before” and “after” point of view.
In other words – the study says what you should do – I’ll highlight what most companies REALLY do. If you see yourself in the picture – take note and do a program autopsy (call us if you need help, hint, hint.)
The 5 Key Program Elements and How Most Companies Do It
As you can see there are many ways to make a reward program good – and just as many (if not more) to make it bad. If you see yourself anywhere in the right column – you gots some problems.
And my final bit of snark…
Retention and Satisfaction – Duh Moment
Researchers examined the tenure and performance ratings of 105 employees who earned the incentive trip at XYZ Corporation. Overall, 88.5 percent of incentive travel earners had a performance level of 1 or 2 (1 being the highest level of performance and 4 the lowest level of performance) compared to 31.2 percent of the control population.
Ask these questions...
Did the program cause them to be top performers (1’s and 2’s) or is it more likely that if you were a 1 or 2 you were a top performer and therefore earned the trip? Just ‘cuz your top performers were on the trip doesn’t mean the trip caused them to be top performers.
15% of the award earners were below the top two levels of performance before the trip. Luck? Dramatic turnaround in attitude and performance?
So the point of the post. Don’t just do it – do it right.