now more than ever
So many things have changed in the last couple of years. We had to create a whole new way of working, altering our lifestyle. We had to learn new things and improve our knowledge of specific topics. We had to communicate through video calls, manage our teams while working remotely. And we had to stay indoors and cancel all our trips and gatherings.
We had to adapt.
But now, we can finally say that the world is ready to recover.
With restrictions and travel bans starting to lift worldwide, incentive travel professionals can now go back to planning and organising. Now, more than ever. Why?
Let’s evaluate together why incentive travel today is more important than ever before.
Now that companies are finally going back to their offices or adopting a hybrid approach, it is the right time to recreate that sense of engagement and a positive workplace culture that can motivate the team. And there is no better way to do this than organising an incentive trip.For over two years, most companies have seen their employees working remotely, with most of these businesses overcoming many challenges in workplace communication. Never-ending video calls and countless emails have replaced face-to-face meetings, as well as those coffee breaks and chats with co-workers, seeming like a thing of the past.
It is no surprise that many employees working from home have somehow felt lonely and lost. According to research, the majority of them have experienced negative mental health impacts, such as loneliness, isolation and difficulty getting away from work at the end of the day.
Employees now have the urge to meet again, in person, with colleagues and friends. They want to be together and share how they have lived and adapted to this new lifestyle. People now need to realise that they were all ‘on the same boat’ and that everyone has had to face change.
Now that companies are finally going back to their offices or adopting a hybrid approach, it is the right time to recreate that sense of engagement and a positive workplace culture that can motivate the team. And there is no better way to do this than organising an incentive trip.
By planning the trip of a lifetime in an inspiring destination, or a sensational team building experience, employees can regain a sense of belonging and spend some quality time networking and bonding with colleagues and managers.
Incentive travel is more than just a trip to an exotic country. It is about sharing unique and reinvigorating travel experiences while engaging and motivating employees. It is about creating long-lasting memories that money cannot buy.
Reward and recognition
Whether it is organised for the top performers, for the entire team, or as a reward for reaching the goals and increasing sales, group incentive trips can be one of the most effective ways to meaningfully reward and recognise your employees, especially after these challenging years.
With the pandemic, companies have registered high levels of burnout in their employees. Working remotely and not being able to disconnect the workplace from personal life has caused discomfort for many workers. Some, including the top performers, started to feel overwhelmed and stressed, or even isolated, not being able to practice effective teamwork.
Today, as reported by the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF), incentive travel planners play a crucial role in helping companies reward and motivate their employees in the right way, leading to better-functioning teams.
According to the IRF Industry Outlook for 2022, the desire to invest in incentives has never waned. Companies remain committed to incentive travel, emphasizing its vital role in motivating and making employees feel valued within the business for years to come.
Virtual experiences cannot replace incentive trips
Adaptability has been the main character in this crisis. The incentive and events industry has shown incredible adaptability throughout the pandemic, especially in the use of technology. SITE’S White Paper reported that with most of the incentive trips cancelled or postponed, some companies have decided to reward their employees with virtual recognition experiences, such as dinner boxes delivered to qualifiers’ homes, online ceremonies, and individual travel certificates.
While this may have worked at the beginning of the crisis, the industry now agrees that the virtual world cannot replace incentive travel programmes and in-person experiences. The feeling of that ‘red carpet’ experience is just not the same when participating in an online meeting.
How can a virtual event be as engaging as an in-person incentive trip?
The hybrid model may be a valid compromise. However, this comes with its pros and cons: combining live in-person events with virtual elements is not always easy, considering all the technology involved in the process. On the other hand, it gives the possibility to tailor content to participants in specific regions and create that sense of human connection. Not to be forgotten, it also has a positive impact in terms of sustainability, having fewer people travelling and so, fewer carbon emissions.
Reaching a wider virtual audience and making the event as accessible as possible are undoubtedly attractive options for many planners.
However, we all still strongly believe in the power of in-person networking and connections, and the events industry is finally ready to get back to all those fantastic and dreamlike incentive travel programmes.
And, in the words of Joanna Lamontagne, from NatWest Group, whom we interviewed for our previous blog, “who wouldn’t want to organise money can’t buy experiences for unsuspecting people?.”
We certainly do.
We’d love to hear from you.
Like what you see? Get in touch today and let our team help your business achieve greatness with the power of events.