You need to understand what the challenge is, where it is located, and what needs to be accomplished.
By Debbie Szafran, Business Development Manager, Sutton & Associates
“Tell me where it hurts.” Sound familiar? This is usually the first question we hear from the doctor when we are not feeling well. In order for the doctor to determine the cause, we must answer some questions so the best treatment can be prescribed.
The same questioning is required to make a good decision on using incentive travel to provide solutions for business challenges. To make this determination, you and your incentive provider need to understand what the challenge is, where it is located, what needs to be accomplished, and other necessary information that will provide desired results.
Here are the first steps to take:
Identify the challenge. What is not working correctly? This could be in the form of low sales, increased safety hazards, loss of customers, low employee morale, decrease in market share, or a number of other challenges. Most companies have a finger on the pulse of what areas within the organization need improvement.
Evaluate what changes are needed to improve. What currently is being done? What needs to be done to achieve better results? Who, or what departments, need to make changes? This evaluation will help to set new goals.
Set goals and objectives. Establishing goals and objectives helps to achieve results and measure the effectiveness of change. For instance, if your company would like to increase sales by 20 percent, set a goal that specifically outlines what needs to be done to meet or exceed this goal. The SMART method—Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely—offers a more structured opportunity for goal achievement than setting general goals.
Engage and motivate those who need to achieve the goals. How is this done? First, outline the goals, objectives, and rules of engagement. Second, choose a reward that will incentivize the participants to achieve the goals. For instance, travel incentive rewards appeal to the majority, create memories that last a lifetime, and offer a higher perceived value than cash. Third, put together a plan that provides creative communications to keep the momentum strong during the qualification period. Most professional incentive companies understand what needs to be communicated, so you can seek their advice.
Execute! Run your incentive program effectively with a frequent communications plan and results will be achieved.
Achieving goals and producing results is possible through incentives, and it doesn’t have to hurt. In fact, it’s a proven remedy. Companies that invest in an effective incentive program use it as a business tool to achieve uncommon goals—good preventive medicine. It’s just what the doctor ordered.
Debbie Szafran is business development manager for Sutton & Associates, a full-service incentive travel and meeting planning company offering creation and design, site selection, contract negotiations, management, production, and on-site supervision. For more information, go to www.suttonplanning.com.