Historically, incentive trips are typically reserved for a company’s sales team. These trips serve to motivate the team to exceed sales goals, with those achieving the highest-level revenues receiving company-wide recognition and access to an amazing getaway.  While these programs are still extremely valuable, a new type of “incentive” trip trend is on the rise.

As attrition continues to occur in the workforce, companies are establishing programs that recognize more than just profit-earning outcomes. They are instead acknowledging the hard labor and commitment of their teams with “Thank You” trips. These trips help refresh organizational workplace culture to promote company-wide recognition and reinforce the importance of work-life balance. The more an organization focuses on its members’ well-being, the more everyone in the ecosystem benefits.

Recently, a major energy operator asked one of its teams to go above and beyond, spending longer than normal working offshore away from home. The operator wanted to recognize the team’s sacrifice, so upon their return, they arranged a “Thank You” trip.  The company treated every member of their team and their family to a weekend-long getaway. They identified Margaritaville Lake Resort, Lake Conroe | Houston as a place for their team to enjoy an island-inspired escape with plenty of fun and stress-free activities. The trip provided employees with a well-deserved break to refresh, reconnect and re-energize.

Investing in Human Connection

Everyone wants to know they are a valued member of the team. When an employee spends most of their days on work-related activities and feels as if they are neglecting other important components of their lives, stress and unhappiness result.

The height of the Covid outbreak was an extremely stressful time for retail teams across the country. Employees were being asked to work long hours and fill in wherever staffing shortages occurred. In addition, supply chain issues created unhappy customers, which the frontline teams had to manage.

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A major home-improvement retailer recognized their management team was on the verge of burnout. To alleviate the stress and recognize their months of dedication and hard work, the company arranged a “Thank You” trip for their employees. The goal was to provide an environment that encouraged relaxation and comradery. The trip enabled coworkers to bond together through teambuilding activities and work-free social interactions.

A key requirement underscored by both companies when booking these trips was the need to find a fun, stress-free environment. Both companies sought a place that provided a waterfront retreat and offered their teams access to a variety of activities that aligned with each individual employee’s desire to either play or unwind.

Hosting these “Thank You” trips brought teams together beyond tangible work-driven requirements. It showcased each organization’s commitment to an employee-centric culture that goes beyond the bottom line.

Creating a Successful “Thank You” Trip

The goal of these trips is to provide recognition and gratitude for a job well done, mission accomplished, goals met or exceeded. Here are some tips to create a successful program:

  • To personalize and customize the employee’s experience; the use of individual “Resort Credits” is advised. This this way each employee can participate in the experiences they prefer. Some may want to go to the spa, some to play golf and others may prefer to enjoy a poolside margarita!
  • Aim for an appropriate balance between personal time and group activities. Companies will want to ensure that each participant enjoys time pursuing their personal passions while planning group activities to recognize and celebrate together as a team. Team-building activities are an effective way to achieve the latter goal; having fun, working as team and achieving a collective goal while enjoying the dynamic of “team power”!

By showing the employer truly cares about the employee, the employee begins to truly care about the organization.

Tom Faust is the vice president of sales and marketing for Margaritaville Lake Resort, Lake Conroe | Houston.