Can reward holidays be part of staff motivation strategy?

All expenses paid holidays are being used as incentive to motivate staff to achieve their targets and maximise growth

Earlier this year, the travel firm ‘The Group Company’ rewarded its staff with a three-day, five star, all inclusive holiday to Barbados to celebrate the companies 10th anniversary.  The trip aimed to recognise the part that employees had played in the firm’s growth trajectory.

Founder of the Group Company, Helen Bilton, said: “Holidays are a great incentive because they’re a chance to get to know each other better on a personal basis, especially for staff from different departments. This allows employees to create collective memories as an organisation.

“Our trip was a great focal point for target setting, and added a fun element to meetings. We had an amazing time, and came back happy, motivated and closer to one another. To be able to sit on a banqueting table on a perfect white sandy beach, with every one of my team around me, and thank them in person for all that they have done to build this organisation over the last 10 years, made me feel very grateful, happy and proud.”

Another firm using this approach is software asset management company, Snow Software.  They reward their staff with trips to motivate them to meet the organisation’s annual growth target.  In 2015, the firm reached its 90% growth target and all 430 members of staff were rewarded with a ski trip.

Matt Fisher, vice-president of marketing at Snow Software, said: “The trip is part of a wider strategy to incentivise employees to feel encouraged and engaged at work. The trip is not merely a holiday; four days are spent re-invigorating colleagues at the start of a new year with three left for leisure and networking with colleagues from around the world.

“It is the people who have been on the trips before who are the most enthusiastic and drive newer team mates to succeed for next year.”

“We spent between half a million and a million pounds [on it] this year, but growth in the past 12 months was well in excess of £10 million, so the return on investment is strong. It is also a key part of our recruitment strategy, and our wider engagement strategy” added Fisher.

The perk of holidays as an incentive and reward is generally focussed around high-performing staff & sales target achievement.  However, organisations that offer trips now are more likely to do so in recognition of a broader range of employee successes, explained David Wreford, a principal, and senior reward consultant at Mercer.

Wreford said: “The provision of paid trips as a benefit to employees is rare, but employers are continually looking for ways to enhance benefits where possible. As a general rule, this means funding benefits that are attractive to employees, at a cost that is less than the employee can access it [at], that supports the values of the organisation, and that does not create an administrative burden.”

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