Thursday, June 08, 2006

What's Hot in Motivational Rewards

Are you up on the latest trends in incentive rewards? According to a recent survey 40% of people chose travel as their most desired incentive and 23% chose a shopping spree. Electronic gadgets were selected as a reward of choice by just 4% of people surveyed.

Travel has always been a hot reward. When I was a recruiter in the mid to late 1980s, we had contests for travel to places such as Aruba, St. Maarten, Bermuda, Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe. We worked hard to win those trips and they were always great fun. (Thanks, Paul George!)

Today, Generation Xers are motivated by different kinds of trips from the types that motivated us Boomers. According to an article in Selling Power magazine, GenXers favor experiences. Said one expert, "Experience is king. The more unique the better." Another tells us "Give people moments they will savor and that they can brag about to their friends."

Examples of unique experiences that are currently popular include:

Wine tasting at a high rated winery lead by the vineyard owner.

Dinner and a meet and greet at the restaurant of a celebrity chef.

Unique travel destinations such as Panama, Dominican Republic or St. Petersburg, Russia.

Combining travel with a charitable event such as building homes in Cancun.

Another current trend in motivational rewards is to structure individual travel for prize winners rather than group travel. GenXers often prefer traveling with their family rather than with a company group. Family friendly destinations such as Orlando are also proving popular as is providing winners with choices of destinations.

Current favorite destinations?

Las Vegas, Hawaii, New York City

Least Favorite Destination: The Cumberland Mountains

HR should be involved in incentive planning so it's a good idea to keep up with the current trends. See the article titled The Best Reward in the May 2006 issue of Selling Power.

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