Incentive Travel Trips – To Motivate or Not To Motivate?

By jschlosser • October 21st, 2008

Motivation is at the center of any great organization.  When you can lead your tribe by making them feel wanted and appreciated, the results are usually going to be positive.   Recent news reports of large corporations taking huge, glamorous, and expensive incentive travel trips after being bailed out by the government has really put a clamp on these kinds of reward trips, across the board.  Even if the company is above board about it, they do not want to give the “wrong impression.”  Better judgment on the part of the trip planners of the companies getting bailed out should have prevailed, and I am in no way condoning their behavior in this article, but their poor decisions are now affecting an entire industry.

Let’s take a moment and see who this is really hurting in those companies that haven’t gotten themselves in a financial fix.  If you were the salesman that worked his butt off all year long to make your quota of sales for the company, thereby driving profit for that same company, wouldn’t you be a little peeved if all of a sudden the “Sales Incentive” trip that used to be the carrot was suddenly taken away, simply because of perceived public opinion?  How will this decision to cancel the trips across the board affect your sales performance next year?  It can’t be doing a lot of good for company moral.

I recently had lunch with Dave, a VP at USMotivation, one of the countries premier travel incentive organizations.  He was talking about how the business had just gone flat, and how companies that had budgeted and scheduled trips were now canceling them because of the bad press that other companies were generating.  Do you see how these decisions to cancel the trips has an incredible domino affect on a lot of other industries.

I think American corporations have an incredible opportunity to take the Sales Incentive trip,  which has now become tarnished because of the decisions and actions of a few bad apples, and turn it around to actually help their fellow Americans.  For those companies that have already budgeted the funds for the trips to some exotic place outside of the country, why not change the destination to someplace inside the United States of America, thereby stimulating a local economy that otherwise would be hurting today.  I think it would be a win-win situation.  You reward the employees and sales people that are the heart and soul of your organization, you maintain moral and loyalty to the company, you help others who may be in danger of losing their jobs because of cut-backs and lay-offs , and you keep the dollars in the USA instead of off-loading them to another country, and you get GOOD PRESS because of why you’re doing it.

Salesman of America …. let your voices be heard!


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