Your team’s incentive travel planned for 2020 (and beyond) may be on pause, but the need to motivate and retain your top performers and customers is in overdrive. 

Inspired people are more productive and will stay with your brand longer—this is true for customers and employees alike. Those MVPs still need recognition and motivation for their productivity. 

Here are some key ways to re-imagine your traditional recognition incentive trip when travel isn’t an option:

For your customers

Our most valuable customers are used to the “wine and dine” experience. With traditional dinner dates off the menu, you’ll need to show your appreciation (and desire for their business) in new and engaging ways:

  • Create a Customer Peer Council or a Council of Executives: Have your senior executives host ongoing invite-only roundtable discussions on industry-focused topics. Be sure to share the discussion back out with the attendees so they can utilize the insights brought together by their peers. Curate the experience with thoughtful executive-level home gifts of upgraded technology tools to enable their participation. Thank them afterward for their time and insight with a handwritten note and personal gift. 
  • Develop a Sales Enablement in a Box Toolkit: Give your Sales Team the tools to engage with their customers on an ongoing basis. This digital/physical kit can include:
    • Product Update Announcements
    • Digital Asset Refresh – sharing updated messaging on your products/services is a great way to reconnect. Maybe it’s a new way to pivot the use of your service in a time of quarantine, or helping to connect customers with new discounts. Communicate value while educating on features. 
    • Monthly promotional item shipments to your customers could include a selection of appropriate gifts with varying price points, all handled through an online ordering portal to make outreach easy to manage.

Give them a taste of the tropics at home with customized craft cocktail kits.

For your top performers

Even with unemployment at record levels, there is still a high risk of losing your top performers to competing offers. Because of the inability for travel, many companies have cancelled or moved their incentive programs to 2021. Top companies are seeing the value of thinking outside the box and are creating exciting opportunities for top performers now and in the future: 

Earn It Today, Use It Tomorrow. Create a platform where your team can choose from many different types of experiences that fit their Bucket List for use in the future (think African Safari or driving a car in the Indianapolis 500). Whatever the audience, be sure to have plenty of options for individuals and families.

Remember The Significant Other. These unsung heroes are often helping motivate your employee behind the scenes, and play a role in meeting your business goals. Keep them in mind when creating a digital gifting experience—something for the significant other that says we see you and we thank you for your continued support. Create a custom shopping website with numerous items sure to appeal to everyone—from in-home experiences (a virtual private concert with their favorite artist) to simple luxuries (at-home spa kits)—your custom site can be built to accommodate any budget.

Get The Word Out: Sometimes just recognizing an employees’ hard work is worth more than a dollar award. Work with your HR team to keep employee recognition front and center. Add recognition for significant wins and achievements into company meetings and newsletters.

Invest In A Digital Award Platform: Companies such as Bonusly and Gifted not only help you create a personalized incentive program for your company and your employees, but can also support birthday and anniversary celebrations as well.

Double Down On Bonuses: Making an impact in the community can go a long way in fostering good will towards your organization. Look for ways to match a top performer’s bonus with a charity of their choice. Be sure the employee gets credit for their match contribution.

High Net Worth Club: A top sales performer carries a unique lifestyle and often needs to continue to feel this reflection of worth and wealth. Treat them to unique virtual experiences, such as a private virtual meeting with your Board, or with celebrity speakers or coaches. Invest in their continued future and you will retain your best and brightest.

Don’t Forget The Middle: Sales motivation should extend to the middle performers as well, who often round out a company’s sales goals. Moving your middle even slightly can yield impressive results for a company. Ultimately, the idea is to keep your overall sales incentive plan simple enough to understand, but motivating enough to transform a middle performer into a high performer.

Lift your team’s spirits with the promise of Bucket List destinations.

Pandemic or not, our human need for connection and recognition remains the same. For our employees, we need to motivate through the distributed workplace to amplify social contact and encourage recognition. For our customers, we have to pay attention to people’s personal needs and include them to show the value of the relationship. 

Need help thinking of new ways to incentivize your teams? Shoot us an email. We’d love to help!

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