back icon Back Insights 09/12/2023

Enhancing Employee Performance Incentive Programs: Leveraging Travel Benefits

Did you know that 90% of the world’s highest-performing companies leverage employee performance incentives to retain and motivate team members—or that nearly the same percentage of employees prefer incentives over a bigger paycheck? Offering incentives, particularly travel incentives, help boost employee morale and create a more energetic, engaged company culture. 

You might be wondering what a travel incentive is and if an incentive acts differently from a travel reward program. A travel incentive is a means for companies to reward top-performing employees with a vacation paid for in full by the employer. Unlike a travel reward program, which hinges on continued spending with a travel brand, a travel incentive is based on workforce productivity. 

Discover how to leverage travel as an employee performance incentive to enhance team-wide morale, motivation, and performance metrics.  

The Impact of Travel Incentives on Employee Performance

Less than half of employees believe they have a good work-life balance. This sentiment becomes even more grim when surveyed among middle managers and executives, who report their work-life balance has become 20% worse, with 40% more work-related stress in recent years. Without attractive employee performance incentives, poor work-life balance can tank employee retention.

“A common challenge we’re all facing is employees thinking the grass is greener with another employer, from media coverage, social media posts, and contact from headhunters,” explains Jennifer Strauel, Chief People & Diversity Officer of arrivia. “This feeling could be coming from a perspective of compensation, work location (working from home), benefits, or other factors, and it creates a restlessness and openness to explore other opportunities.”

Fortunately, employee travel incentives can help put the ‘balance’ back in work-life balance. By recognizing individual workplace contributions with travel benefits, you enable employees to escape their daily routines and embrace new adventures. Travel benefits serve as tangible rewards to create memorable experiences that inspire and motivate employees to perform at their best.

Not to mention, the excitement of travel plans can also lead to increased engagement and renewed passion in the workplace. When team members sense an appreciation for their hard work, it can encourage employee morale and improve general employee satisfaction. Plus, employees who feel respected for their contributions are more likely to bring their best selves to work each day. 

What are Examples of Incentive Travel?

Types of employee incentive programs vary across industries and firmographics. However, one thing many performance incentive programs share in common is incentive travel. Employee travel benefits are a universal corporate perk to drive workplace performance and achieve business goals. Examples of how travel rewards can align with specific performance objectives include:

  • Rewarding the top seller in a specific quarter with an all-expenses-paid trip 
  • Hosting a team-building retreat for the department with the highest close rate
  • Offering an all-inclusive resort stay to an employee following a major promotion  

Research has proven that various types of incentive travel can positively impact both employee performance and retention. Among employees who earn incentive travel, 55% proceed to display top performance ratings and tenure of four years or more. In other words, incentive travel leads to increased productivity among team members who are prepared to stick around for the long haul. 

A woman holding onto a suitcase in front of the Eiffel Tower leveraging employee performance incentives.

Creating a Positive Work Culture with Corporate Travel Incentives

Though the vast majority of professionals receive vacation days, one in four say they never or rarely take all of them, as per a recent Deloitte survey. The determining factor in how employees spend their potential time off is a lack of support or recognition from leadership—as well as a company culture that does not support time away from the office. Enter corporate travel incentives. 

Leveraging travel as an employee performance incentive creates a work environment in which employees feel motivated to work hard but still enjoy the fruits of their labor. It also instills a more positive company culture in which there’s a desire to contribute to the company’s success. Together, travel incentives and a more balanced work culture foster employee satisfaction and retention.

If you’re wondering how to promote incentive travel in a way that bolsters your company culture, showcase flexible vacation packages or family-friendly travel options that enhance an employee’s coveted work-life balance. Use your recognition program to highlight employee achievements and implement regular feedback sessions to ensure your travel incentives meet the team’s preferences. 

Measuring the Impacts of Employee Travel Incentive Programs

If you are offering incentives for employee performance, you must be able to measure the impacts that integrating travel benefits will have on employee morale and productivity. First things first, the chosen travel incentives must be relevant, attainable, and aligned with employee preferences and aspirations, and there must be clear criteria for earning and redeeming travel rewards.

Once your employee performance incentives are in place, select key performance indicators (KPIs) to evaluate the impact of travel benefits. Metrics such as employee engagement levels, performance metrics, and travel redemption rates can provide valuable data on program effectiveness. Likewise, directly check in with employees to gauge their satisfaction and understanding of the program. 

“Keeping your programs and the benefits of working for your company top of mind are a challenge for any company. Frequent communication is critical as employees are juggling more and more,” Jennifer Strauel explains to Loyalty360. “Ideally, benefits training should be included in employee onboarding and then annually from that point forward.”

By monitoring the effectiveness of travel incentive programs, organizations can identify areas for improvement and optimize their rewards strategies to motivate employees better. Utilizing data analytics tools and gathering feedback from employees on their travel experiences can offer valuable insights into team members’ preferences and help tailor future incentives accordingly.

Partnering with arrivia for Travel Incentive Programs

From increased productivity to improved work-life balance and job satisfaction, the bottom line is the benefits of employee incentive programs are nearly endless. When you leverage travel benefits as employee performance incentives, you create infinite opportunities for team members to embrace time outside of the office that reinvigorates their career goals and reignites their passion. 

As you navigate the complexities of travel benefits, simplify your efforts by partnering with arrivia. We administer a white label booking platform and create tailored travel benefits specifically designed to enhance employee performance and drive business success—whether it’s exclusive resort packages, flexible vacation options, personalized travel concierge services, or more. 

Request a demo today to explore how arrivia can shape a compelling rewards experience for your employees!