Recently I saw a post in one of my Linkedin Groups about travel incentives that made me embarassed for my industry. Which group and the author isn't important. What is important is the description of the program inclusions that made me go "huh?"
Here's the set up.
Client wanted to cut incentive travel program budget from $600K to $375K. Incentive designer/Planner presented a $1.6 million budget with busines case rationale that the new program/budget would drive business to the next level. The client bought the $1.6 million program and sales went way up. Sales were so good the CEO of the client company held a company-wide celebration that (to quote the post)...
"that included a video broadcast of the sales team, from their incentive travel destination, telling those employees how much they appreciated being able to exceed sales and margin objectives 'due to your support'.
The presentation concluded with the Senior Vice President telling the employees, 'No, we can't all be on that trip, but we are all celebrating growth in our business while our competition is meeting to try and figure out who to lay-off".
I'll let you read that again.
Here is one thing you can count on...
You Will Never Get That Recommendation From Us
I bring this to your attention for two reasons.
IMHO - It's a terrible idea.
We would never recommend that the sales people who earned a trip to some great travel location send a "video message" back home to say thanks for the support. It's one thing to send video messages back from the war - quite another to film 50 tanned, sunglassed, half-baked sales people toasting the folks back home with a 48 oz Hurricane in a logo-identified souvenier glass from Tropical Tommy's Bar, Grille and Tire Shop on some exotic island.
I'm pretty sure all the "little people" back home know they contributed to the sales person earning that trip. Some of them may even be a little happy they earned it. Some, not so much. Sending this message - from the trip participants back home - strikes me as a bit tasteless and elitest.
Now that's my opinion - and why you'll never see that as a recommendation from us.
However, we might recommend...
- Each sales person send a personal, handwritten note outlining specifically what that individual did to assist that sales person, and the company, hit their goal. Better yet - make it from their manager with some quotes from various members of the sales team and the Sr. Execs. Maybe include a gift card as a kicker. But the note is the real thing.
- Give everyone in the company some much needed extra vacation days (one or two - nothing weird like 30 extra days.)
- Recommendations from their manager to the individuals LinkedIn profiles (if they have them.)
I want to know what you think of it? Am I way off base? Does this makes sense to you all. Majority will rule.
Not really - regardless of what you all say I will still think it is crass and demeaning. But give it a shot in the comments.