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Incentive Travel in a Pandemic landscape

2020 has been a year like no other. When ‘COVID 19’ first starting hitting the headlines back in January, many of us felt like it was just going to be a few months of tighter travel restrictions in certain areas of the world – no problem, we’ll just reschedule any travel plans for a couple of months’ time, or pick a safer destination that was COVID-19 free.

The impact of COVID 19 has been felt by businesses across multiple industries. This has ranged from complete shutdown or mass downsize, to new remote operating models or reduced remuneration packages.

Employees now face new challenges. They are working remotely, possibly with a reduced headcount in their teams and therefore potentially taking on a higher workload. Whether it be hitting sales targets, reigniting client engagement or maximising client retention strategy, they are the ones pushing overall performance further in order that businesses can get through this difficult time. Businesses need to keep their people engaged and to show them recognition and appreciation for working harder than they ever have before.

It’s never been more crucial for businesses to keep their employees motivated and on track. Non-cash rewards such as travel linger in in a reward earner’s memory for years, creating lasting memories and positive associations with the organization that provided the reward. A study by the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) found that ‘fun, enjoyable experiences stimulate a part of the brain that cash doesn’t’. Travel rewards create greater anticipation, discussion and afterglow both prior, during and after.

The Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) showed a staggering 95.5 percent of qualifying programme participants felt motivated by travel rewards and a compelling 90.7 percent would work harder to qualify in the future. During the 2008 global financial crisis there was an increase in client incentive programmes. Top performing companies (as identified by the IRF) all reported that revenue growth had one thing in common; they all engaged the power of incentive and reward programmes.

Whilst travelling in 2020 is somewhat reduced, having something for staff to work towards could help to get them through the coming months. A simple yet effective way to get momentum back. Nothing beats that face to face engagement and buzz experienced when working in teams or on the office floor. Setting goals to motivate to achieve above-average performance will see incredible productivity improvements.

For sales teams, kick-starting sales targets for the year ahead and driving home any sales for 2020. Offering an incentive not only provides additional reward (beyond their standard cash payments), it provides those top performers that ‘trophy value’ recognition they love.

The team at GPM can work with you on how to best develop and customise the right incentive travel programme for your business and budget.

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