Recently I came across a research of the Motivational Power of Incentive Travel published by the Institute of Behavioural and Applied Management (2014). The “thing” with research is that the results always manage to surprise us. Even after years of working in a particular field. We may believe to have conscious rationalizations and awareness of bias traps and only pure objectiveness in our profession, but we can still inhabit ideas that need to be challenged and scientifically investigated, in detail.
The idea of motivational power of incentive travel is challenged more than once. It has critiques as it has supporters. As a strong supporter I have no doubts that well designed incentive travel programs drive desired behaviours and help improve business performance. But the devil is always in the details.
Here is a fair portion of details from this research that I want to share with you.
1. The sample description
“Of the participants, 83.3% were male, and 16.7% were female. This is a reasonable percentage of women in the survey based upon the type of employees who are generally offered travel as an incentive (Mukherjee, 2010).”
My, oh, my.
Just to complete the picture, “from which”: 68.7% were married; 61.9% had no children; 43.5% were sales and 63.4% were individual travelers.
2. What could make travel more motivating?
On the scale of No Motivating to Very Much More Motivating, here is what the responders find generally motivating:
“More choice of destination”
“More leisure/unscheduled time”
3. Earner attitudes towards company providing travel incentives
“Earning the travel award made me feel appreciated”
The main emotion recognized by 88% of respondents is appreciation. Following in descending order are belongingness, loyalty and trust.
4. Relative motivational power of other incentives
“I believe that paid vacation time would be a more effective motivational tool than travel.”
According to 41.4% of the respondents, paid vacation is better motivational substitute for incentive travel than merchandise or cash.
5. Overall motivation level
Just to give you peace of mind here is the overall result, since the results from above may appear out of the context.
Not at all motivating
Relatively not motivating
A little motivating
If you would like to investigate more details, you can find the full article following this link.