Incentive travel now used to boost morale instead of rewarding top performers


Companies are now turning to incentive travel to boost engagement and morale instead of using it as a reward, according to a recent survey by US online booking platform AllFly.

Half of remote workers feel more isolated, lonely and disconnected from the business while working from home with businesses opting for shorter, more frequent trips to break up periods of isolation.

Further research reveals that close colleague bonds have a direct effect on employee retention and satisfaction. As a result, instead of incentive travel being a reward for high-performing team members, more companies are now using this as a way of boosting employee engagement and morale.

“Pre-pandemic, incentive travel was most commonly used to reward high-flyers,” said Kenny Totten, COO at AllFly.

“However, this has changed as many companies are continuing to operate using remote or hybrid models.

“With workforces more dispersed, many employees are feeling more isolated and cut off from the rest of the company. And so, businesses are turning to incentive travel as a means to unite and lift the spirits of their scattered team.

“They want to help employees feel less isolated within their roles and cultivate a sense of camaraderie and togetherness, even as everyone works apart.”

Instead of pumping finances into one extravagant trip, companies are now going for shorter getaways nearby or spaced out over the year, with an average duration of five days.

Additionally, more holistic and well-being activities are being integrated into incentive trips. Companies are also recognising the need for work-life balance and incorporating more leisure time into itineraries.

“Companies are recognising the importance of breaking up extended periods of isolation and instead of splurging on one big annual trip, they are opting for several smaller ones throughout the year that suit different tastes,” said Totten.

Businesses are also veering away from traditional tourist destinations and instead opting for unique, immersive experiences that offer cultural engagement and local flavour.