incentive travel

What is incentive travel? Characteristics, examples and benefits

In this article we want to look closely at incentive travel, an option which is considered increasingly with a view to tackling certain internal difficulties such as employee relations, stress, poor motivation or retaining talent. We will do this with a brief introduction in order to discover this option for companies. Let´s get started!

What is an incentive trip?

An incentive trip is a holiday package which a company offers to its employees as a reward for obtaining certain criteria. It may be offered as a stimulus to achieve certain goals, as a recompense for a job well done or in gratitude for the length of service in the company of a worker.     

These kinds of incentive travel programmes are often useful to maintain the motivation of the employee for the purpose of reaching the objectives of the company or in the case of incentives for private individuals, and for strengthening the bond between workers as in the case of group journeys.

What special aspects do these trips have in comparison with a conventional one which an employee can take privately? The first fundamental one is that the expenses are covered by the company. Apart from this, there are several variables which define these types of reward trips.

Characteristics of incentive travel 

Let us take a look at some of the features of incentive travel to understand why it has been gaining acceptance among companies in recent times. We will do this, first of all, by asking some of the basic questions raised by workers when they discover these  types of programmes.  

  • Are they individual or in a group? Both forms are possible. Group travel seeks to generate a unifying atmosphere among the workers.Individual trips are usually designed to provide the worker with an enriching experience for his work activity or simply with a leisure package.  
  • Who pays the bill? Incentive trips are paid for by the company. This is the main particularity and the most noteworthy aspect. The worker enjoys the trip and associated activities completely free of charge.
  • What is the duration of an incentive trip? Whatever the company considers. Generally speaking, a closed package previously acquired from an agency is offered to all the team. Although in the case of an individual reward, the worker can, in accordance with his personal needs, agree a package with  the company to finalise the details.  
  • Does this trip count as used holiday entitlement of the worker?This should not be the case. We must remember this is a prize for a good worker that the company wishes to keep. If absence from work as a result of this incentive travel were classed as used holiday entitlement, then it would be seen by the worker as the company conditioning the use of his free time and the prize would in the end be considered a punishment.   
  • Can the worker be joined by his family on this trip? In many cases these gratifications allow the worker to be accompanied when the trip is principally for leisure. In other cases, such as trips for a complete team which combine leisure and work, then they are normally reserved for workers only. 

Once the details are established, let us examine the principal characteristics that define these types of reward trips.  

  • They usually take the form of travel with a creative element.The company does not just limit itself to the payment of the stay and the activities with this initiative, but also aims to surprise the employees with unusual activities or experiences to cause that Wow effect which makes the trip a memorable one.  
  • In some cases, the aim is to achieve a combination of leisure and work. With group travel the company pursues the objective of generating a good atmosphere among the workers.This is obtained by preparing team building activities which foster teamwork.There are also incentive trips which are simply focused on getting the worker to enjoy their reward. 
  • There will however  always be a fun element included.Let us remember that the main aim is to motivate the worker and take him away from his daily routine. 

Benefits of incentive travel

Now that we know the details, let us see which are the main ones of these types of incentive travel programmes, for both workers and for the company that offers them:

  • Generate better relations among the workers: In the case of group travel which seeks to improve relations among workers, a climate of unity is generated, favouring coordination and understanding in the day to day work of the company.
  • Reduce stress of the employees.
  • Improve motivation and employee performance.
  • Better qualified and educated workers: Offering alternative experiences opens and enriches the minds of the employees who experience them.
  • The company retains talent: The company offers a valuable employee the framework to be content.He feels valued and settled in the company, so he will not want to leave.
  • Generate brand image: The workers are the best promoters a brand can have. 

Examples of incentive trips for workers

Let us now see some ideas and examples of incentive trips for workers which any company can set up depending on its options. After that,the possibilities are dictated by the company budget and above all, the limits of the imagination. However, the best destinations for an incentive trip are always those that respond to the worker´s needs in relation to the activity he or she performs in the company.  

  • Incentive travel for artistic profiles: A worker with a marked artistic profile can enjoy trips to places with beautiful landscapes or leisure options such as museums and exhibitions. 
  • Incentive travel for construction backgrounds as in architects, decorators: Destinations may be urban or any that stand out by virtue of their innovative nature in these fields.
  • Incentive trips for competitive profiles or for those who are submitted to stress: Perhaps the best option for these profiles is that which allows them to unwind and completely forget about work.
  • Incentive trips for workers with a social profile: A good option for this type of profile can be to travel to exotic places which allow the possibility to experience a different social reality and soak up a different culture. 
  • Incentive plans for mobile workforces: This worker profile is that of someone who travels frequently, which could be considered a special case to evaluate.They may place more value on having time off to spend at home or with their families.

Activities to organise on an incentive trip

We are now going to set out what form an incentive trip for workers might take. Let us visualise the situation and imagine how to get the most out of the experience. 

  • Team building activities: We spoke at length about this in a previous post. Take a look at the best team building activities. Perfect leisure options for team incentive trips.   
  • Mindfulness: This is what we commonly refer to as meditation. Particularly interesting for those open to acquiring new habits which will allow them to cope calmly with their everyday work.  
  • Excursions and moderate sports activities: Practising sport in moderation makes the body release serotonin, the feel-good hormone. 
  • Extreme activities: Only suitable for those workers who we know will enjoy activities which release a high level of adrenaline.
  • Travel with a wide range of cultural options: For the more classic profiles a trip to Europe is always a good option.  
  • Rural tourism: More and more in demand as it is the perfect way to get away from frenetic day to day life.
  • Road Trip: The most adventurous ones perhaps only need a few days to organise a trip by themselves, hit the road and discover new horizons.This option is increasingly popular among young people. 

Have we answered your doubts? We hope we have helped and given you some ideas with a view to a possible future proposal for your company. We also encourage you to share with us any ideas or alternative proposals for these types of incentive trips. Are you up for it?

Photo of Erik Odiin from Unsplash

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