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Rewarding Performance Is Not About Where On The Planet You Take People

The future of incentive trips is understandably exercising the event industry at the moment and there are some great ideas on how to transform the traditional incentive trip/awards night into an engaging virtual experience.

But let’s take a step back.

When considering 2020 performance levels and motivating people to try and qualify it is important to remember now even more than ever, why organisations do this. In driving performance, engaging ALL hearts and minds at work is key, not just the top 10%.

In order to optimise performance levels and deliver the best return to any business, it is the cohort sitting in the middle of the performance graph that need to feel equipped, confident and supported to push forward their performance levels. Incremental performance enhancements here will make the difference.


Employers who get this have been able to bring about step changes in results by recruiting substantial numbers of their middle performers to become aspiring top performers.

The reasons for people tending to stay in the middle group will vary:

·       Understanding of what it takes or why it matters

·       Ability to improve/exceed

·       Belief that it is achievable

·       Awareness of what top performance could do for them personally

Getting to grips with the needs of different people within this group and having clear strategies to meet these needs is not about substantial financial investment. It’s about good people practice and being able to answer these questions:

Communication – What are you asking me to do and why? Colleagues must have a map in their heads; they must have bought in to the business’s direction of travel and the required performance objectives.

Learning and Development – How do I do / can I do what you are asking of me? Everyone needs to have access to relevant, engaging learning materials and support – the more on the job access, so they can learn at the point of applying their learning, the better.

Reward and Recognition – What is in it for me? The top 10% are always going to qualify for the incentive/award trip and you are more than likely to see the same names across years. But what about the 60 -70% that have moved their performance needle and achieved greater success? Smaller and more frequent rewards for improved performance may deliver a greater ROI. Getting them closer to top 20% performance will have a big impact.

Measurement and feedback – How am I doing? There are good reasons for setting the goals that people are asked to meet and exceed. Being able to demonstrate clearly not just what they have achieved but how they are helping the business to succeed is a proven (and massively underused) motivator.

It is not about how much you give but how you give it – and crucially knowing about the needs of the people you give it to. 

Screenshot 2021-01-11 at 14.04.38


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