What is incentive travel?

Incentive travel is a way for top-performers, loyal clients or long-time employees to be recognized. We believe it’s also a way to further your company’s story and allow others to find themselves more deeply rooted in that story.

As with everything else at Overflow, we start with strategy. For incentive travel campaigns, this looks like defining:

  • current performance baselines
  • obstacles
  • opportunities to increase performance or engagement
  • tiers of leadership, financial or other goals to be achieved
  • areas where impact is needed (local, regional, national, global)
  • a set timeframe for performance to be measured
  • a travel destination that is meaningful and memorable

More than sales goals

Too often with incentive travel, people think only of sales. While that can be one benchmark for an incentive, performance can be based on many other things – leadership skills, customer loyalty, new client acquisition, increased client satisfaction, or employee tenure, for example. It can be related to any goal an organization deems worthy and can be measured by data or subjective elements.

Why do it?

Data shows that individuals will strive to achieve the opportunity to travel to a unique destination that they may otherwise never visit, to spend one-on-one time with members of senior leadership or be recognized for their performance. Associates who meet or exceed goals demonstrate skills that may help advance them to a leadership role if desired and providing an incentive travel program is one method to see who demonstrates the commitment required.  Additionally, senior leaders often have one-on-one time with these top performers while traveling, so they have stronger relationships within the organization and more insight into their advancement pipeline.

How to find success

Those who experience the most success with an incentive program are leaders who can experiment, pivot quickly if something isn’t working, and create an opportunity for top performers to spend quality time with senior leaders on the trip. This is a key motivating factor, along with the appeal of the destination. Top performers want to have meaningful time with senior leaders, and this shouldn’t be overlooked.

With a clear vision of the goals to be achieved, it’s important to design an overall experience to keep the team moving forward throughout the designated performance period. Engaging employees throughout the life of an incentive campaign is critical. This might mean setting additional milestones to be achieved along the way, rather than only one large end goal.

Successful campaigns also include the support system for employees, such as a significant other or family. Just as a healthy meal plan is more successful with a clean kitchen, menu planning and family support, achieving clearly defined employment goals is more successful with clear expectations, a defined time period and family support. A strong incentive travel program also rewards this support system. When companies recognize the importance of including more than just the employee, the odds of success increase.

Why does Overflow offer incentive travel?

It goes back to experience design – this is one way we help bring your story to life. By creating something special, whether for 4, 10, 50, or hundreds of people, we design an experience that immerses each attendee in the bigger story of your organization. We see every situation as unique, and the personal recognition that happens on an incentive trip is a way for top performers to really embed themselves in your company’s story in an inviting, comfortable and memorable setting. This is an opportunity to custom-tailor an experience for individuals traveling, rather than a rinse-and-repeat incentive program that will likely become stale and ineffective over time. The attendee’s experience is everything, and we can design it with story – the company’s and the individual’s – in mind.