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Motivate Through Incentives

 

    

 

Motivated people sell more, produce higher-quality products, service customers more efficiently, and work harder to control costs. They have the best attendance records and tend to work with a more spirited, positive attitude. Motivated people make a greater commitment to achieving management's objectives by improving their personal performance.

We all want a motivated staff but what is the best approach?  Recognition in front of peers, pats on the back, time-off and merchandise awards are all effective motivators.  But to really exceed expectations, an incentive group travel program can deliver amazing bottom-line results.

According to Incentive Magazine, companies choose travel awards because:

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 It’s desirable and highly promotable

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 It appeals to people’s sense of adventure and discovery

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 Provides lasting, special memories

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Group travel affords opportunities to forge company loyalty and teamwork

But any business considering the introduction of incentives into its marketing strategy has the right to ask, “Why incentives? We're already paying people to produce—why should we do more?''

It’s very simple. People, no matter how well paid, establish a level of effort or performance somewhere below 100% of their potential or ability. Once a person has reached his or her own personal plateau, the drive for additional productivity levels off. This is most apparent in sales people. Industry experts agree that the top 20% of any sales force accounts for 80% of a company's business. These top salespeople are already well compensated for their selling efforts . . . and the other 80% don't seem to produce more by dangling the carrot of additional cash before them. All of these people could earn more at any time, simply by selling more. In other words, while money might initially serve as a strong force to motivate, it’s not enough to spur a person’s maximum potential.

Now dangle an exciting trip to Florida or an exotic adventure to Aruba and you’ll see why travel incentives motivate people out of their self-set plateau and encourages new effort. 

Developing a plan is easier than you might think.  A full-service incentive company can help you formulate and implement an effective strategy with just a few simple steps:

1.     Define Your Objective
The objective of the vast majority of travel incentive programs is to increase profits by selling more of a company's products or services. Other objectives are not specifically sales oriented and may be to improve customer service, reduce call time, increase safety, decrease absenteeism or increase line production.

2.     Select Participants
Having defined the goal you wish to accomplish, next select the group of people you wish to motivate. If possible, try to include everyone in an incentive campaign who can affect the end result of the program.  

3.     Establish The Program Duration
Incentive programs usually run from six months to a year. This relatively long time period is usually necessary to justify the cost of the award. Since travel is a large award, and since participants earn that award by additional or incremental business or cost savings, you must make certain you give them sufficient time and opportunity to win. 

4.     Determine Awards
Will you use group travel, merchandise, awards, recognition or a combination of all of these?

5.     Select the Destination
Many criteria are used to select the perfect destination for your incentive travel program — after all you will be sending your most important people there. Unlike a travel agent, your incentive coordinator will research the demographics and preferences of the prospective winner’s and supply destination choices tailored to your audience.

6.     Establish Program Rules
You, and your Incentive expert, have defined your objective, determined the program participants, set the length of the campaign and selected the travel destination. The next step is to establish the program rules. When structuring the rules of your program, make certain that:

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They are simple and easy to understand

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The goals are attainable

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You are rewarding a participant commensurately with the effort needed to win a travel award

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The results are measurable

7.     Determine Incentive Budget
Even though a company must initially outlay a large sum of capital to finance the incentive program, it’s important to note that a successful incentive program will stimulate a monetary increase and it pays for itself.  Sales, dealer or consumer incentive programs are funded through a portion of their incremental gains: that new revenue or profits the programs produce. Non-sales, safety, suggestion or other employee programs pay for themselves in the long run by lowering the costs of insurance and medical claims, or handling errors, returns, turnover, etc.

8.     Promote Your Program
Good promotion is the key to a successful incentive. It introduces the plan, serves as a constant reminder to participants about the program rules and award opportunity, and motivates people to action.  

9.  Reap the Rewards
Now everyone in your organization is excited and pumped up to do their best in order to win the fabulous trip.  Sales are booming, customer service has improved and overall morale has improved immeasurably.  Your incentive coordinator has organized an exciting, once-in-a-lifetime itinerary and sees to every detail during the trip.  Winners feel like kings and queens and return refreshed, relaxed and rejuvenated.

10. Evaluate the Program
Consider quantitative and qualitative aspects of the program to determine ROI (return on investment) and the bottom-line results.

Now, all that’s left for you to do is relax on the beach or hit the links with your winners…after all, you deserve it for being so motivated to motivate!

Jill Snodgrass is President of Daily Plan-It, a full-service Incentive, Meeting and Special Event company based in Jefferson City.

Checklist for your incentive program:

Planning the Program

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Clearly list objectives

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Select the target participants

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Set the contest period

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Establish the rules

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Decide how to track performance

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Set the budget

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Determine the awards

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Discuss destination options

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Conduct a `site inspection' to destination

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Design program and itinerary specifics

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Develop "count-down" calendar

 

Promoting the Program

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Design the theme and logo

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Kick-off the program with an event

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Distribute the rules

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Send monthly motivational and ranking mailers

 

Executing the Program

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Notify the winners

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Distribute travel documents

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Answer questions and assist with special  requests

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Wisk guests away to exciting destination

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Meticulously execute activities

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Pamper winners

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Return them safely and motivated

 

After the Program

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Monitor and record winner's personal preferences

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Choose and package "at home" gift

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Design and distribute evaluations

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Determine ROI

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Celebrate a successful program


 

           

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