Small business owners can motivate and reward their staffers for a job well done in a variety of ways. Incentive trips are motivators that encourage employees to work toward a particular goal, typically a sales goal, in an effort to win group or individual travel packages to appealing destinations. These trips have the added benefit of building and strengthening professional relationships by allowing co-workers to get to know one another on a more personal level.
Incentive trips create a unique, nonmonetary compensation often viewed as a fun reward for a job well-done. Many people naturally factor bonuses and large cash commissions into their annual salary, which is typically used for daily living expenses and savings plans. An incentive trip, though it carries a monetary value, is often seen as a special perk that shows the company’s appreciation of the employees’ work. Such trips can also build a sense of camaraderie among co-workers and create a stronger, more productive team environment.
Incentive trips can be strong motivators, provided the goals are realistically attainable. If a business owner sets goals that are too lofty, participants might feel as if they’re being manipulated into performing at peak levels with no real chance of obtaining the ultimate prize. This attitude can create backlash where production doesn't increase but rather decreases. This is particularly true of group incentives where members of a team are expected to work together to attain a group goal, succeeding or failing as a unit. If this dynamic is not well-monitored, with workloads being equitably distributed among participants, it can lead to resentment and workplace problems.
Building New Relationships
Because incentive trips are typically given as reward for doing good work, the act of working toward a common goal can bring employees from different areas of the business closer together, forging new relationships. Pairing up people from different departments to work collectively on one aspect of the goal can introduce people to different personality traits and create new personal and professional connections. Holding group brainstorming sessions encourages the development of new relationships by opening the field to suggestions from all levels of a company. Co-workers can get a better idea of how to communicate with colleagues, come to understand the strengths and weaknesses of one another and look for creative ways to work together.
Strengthening Existing Relationships
Even strong, established professional relationships have the potential to be strengthened to new levels. Mentoring is a relationship-building idea that encourages a seasoned or skilled professional to share tips and offer advice to those coming up the same career ladder. Heading committee or group activities, such as incentive trip planning, can diversify and improve existing business relationships and improve overall team dynamics.
Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.