An incentive to perform

As organisations cajole their workforces to be sharper, faster and more productive, they aren’t forgetting to share the fruits of their labour. HRM looks at how staff rewards and incentive trips are being crafted as a show of gratitude for employees’ hard work.

According to the Incentive’s Travel IQ Survey 2015, the sport of golf emerged as a “very important” aspect when respondents were asked what factors should be involved in their company’s choice of an incentive travel programme destination.

In fact, only 2.7% of respondents cited that their organisation should specifically avoid golf destinations.

Whether or not golf is important to organisations’ incentive travel programmes, one thing is indisputably certain: incentive trips are beginning to dominate the retention strategies of companies.

Embracing incentive trips

Lin Liang Min, Director of Marketing Communications, W Singapore- Sentosa Cove, attests to this assertion.

“Staff rewards and incentive trips are noted to be increasingly current among companies, often serving to recognise and reward top sales agents in a business-centric environment,” she says.

Interestingly, 61.1% of respondents to the Travel IQ Survey 2015 revealed that increasing sales was the primary benefit their company associated with incentive travel programmes. (see: boxout)

Lin states that W Singapore – Sentosa Cove facilitates staff rewards and incentive trips for its corporate clients.

“We allow companies to purchase stays from the hotel in the form of room vouchers and also liaise with event companies on the logistics of the group, which caters to a group size of 50 to 240,” explains Lin.

“The planning for such groups and trips are usually managed by event companies hired by our corporate clients.”

Types of clients

Lin says W Singapore has a base of corporate clients, primarily from the automobile, electronics and technology, insurance, and financial and investment industries.

“It can be noted that such requests and leads are very much dependent on the company’s fiscal year closing and it varies from c ompanies and countries due to their different demand periods,” she explains.

Incentive findings

Selected responses from Incentive’s Travel IQ Survey 2015

Which of the following are most important criteria when evaluating a destination for your incentive travel programmes?

  • Reasonable costs — 71.8%
  • Destination’s reputation — 32.8%
  • Want to use a new destination — 18.7%
  • Ease of air travel — 43.5%
  • Security and safety — 34.7%
  • Appealing climate — 30.2%
  • Diverse dining and entertainment — 16.8%
  • Recreational attractions — 24.4%

 

How do the availability of golf and a spa affect your choice of a destination?

  • Golf is very important — 16.0%
  • Golf is somewhat important — 38.2%
  • Golf is not at all important — 17.9%
  • Avoid golf destinations — 2.7%
  • Spa is very important — 20.2%
  • Spa is somewhat important — 32.8%
  • Spa is not at all important — 8.8%
  • Avoid spa destinations — 0.8%

Source: Incentive’s Travel IQ Survey 2015

 

US airlines share the profits

In February 2016, US airline Southwest Airlines revealed it would share $620 million with its staff. The Profit Sharing Plan was worth about 15.6% of each eligible worker’s eligible compensation, or the equivalent of eight weeks’ wages.

According to a press release, this $620 million contribution—close to $1.7 million a day—is the biggest total dollar amount Southwest has ever allocated to its annual Profit Sharing scheme.

This amount, which will be funded on April 29, surpasses the cumulative contributions to the Plan over the first 25 years ($559 million from 1974-1998).

“Behind every milestone Southwest Airlines has celebrated—and there have been many—our employees are the driving force. I’m incredibly proud of the teamwork and heart behind every accomplishment,” said Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest Airlines.

“Our people have built one of the world’s most admired companies, and they share in Southwest’s success with this third consecutive record-breaking profit sharing contribution.”

In a similar incentive plan, Delta Airlines staff garnered a share of the organisation’s $1.5 billion profit in 2015 – the steepest payout in the history of corporate profit sharing programmes.

According to the company, individual payouts equalled more than 21% of workers’ eligible 2015 earnings.

“We are often asked what makes Delta different,” said CEO Richard Anderson and President Ed Bastian in a staff circular.

“The difference is you. Our unique people-focused culture is the advantage that none of our competitors can match.”

Employee celebrations across Delta’s global network also paid tribute to staff. In fact, the airline designed a 50-foot tall greeting card, which included the names of every Delta employee – all 80,000 of them.

 

Perks tied to household spending?

The Voucher Shop, a specialist provider of employee benefits, staff rewards and customer promotions in the UK, recently administered The Voucher Shop Reward Survey 2015 among 1,648 UK employees. This research deduced that employees desire for more versatile reward initiatives with greater significance to their household spending.

When respondents to the survey were asked, “If your employer was able to provide vouchers for good performance, what type of voucher would be most beneficial to you or your household?”, the feedback highlighted a clear preference towards vouchers for use in retailers affording household necessities over more leisure-focused choices.

These included:

  • Food and grocery shopping vouchers (47.8%)
  • Department store vouchers (14.9%)
  • Holiday vouchers (12.4%)
  • Leisure or family day out vouchers (9.2%)
  • Eating out (8.7%)
  • Clothing vouchers (5.8%)
  • Do-it-yourself or home improvement voucher (0.8%)

“The motivational impact of non-cash rewards over higher salaries is well-documented. In order to drive performance and improve employee engagement, employers need to offer rewards that appeal to the individual,” said Kuljit Kaur, Head of Business Development at The Voucher Shop.

“While discounted vouchers or gift cards as part of a flexible employee benefits scheme are a very effective way to ease the pressure on household budgets, performance rewards can also be used to pay for the weekly food shop.”

The Voucher Shop Reward Survey 2015 was completed during March and April 2015, with respondents being based in the UK and featuring employees from 48 companies operating across multiple industry sectors.

 

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