It’s official. You're grappling with a postponed or canceled travel program because of COVID-19. You still have to deliver value to your company and reward the top performers or best customers who have already earned the reward. After all, these partners are more important than ever in the recovery. Here’s what you can do right now in three easy steps:
Work with your travel partner. (We hope that’s Next Level!)
Your travel partner should be working on your behalf to provide options and protect funds wherever possible. Thanks to good negotiating and solid national relationships, hotels and local partners are working with us to reschedule programs that had to be cancelled to future dates. Most companies booking or re-booking now are choosing mid to late 2021 for the best rates and availability.
2021 program already booked? No problem. We’ve worked with our clients on all kinds of scenarios, including shifting 2020 destinations to 2022.
Move those deposits to the next fiscal year. You were probably already planning to have a 2021 program and were funds are almost certainly already approved. Think about it like moving your wallet from one pocket to the other. Your finance team can help you through.
Pivot to reward 2019 winners in 2020.
That leaves you with a 2020 budget and dozens or hundreds of winners just waiting to see what you will do. Do not demotivate this audience by not coming through. You need them for the recovery.
Pivot to a non-travel reward with your remaining 2020 funds. Points programs are the perfect solution.
Merchandise is a great option, but since travel is a top tier reward, it’s pretty tough to find merchandise of equal value that everyone wants or needs. With points, winners can select anything from gift cards to merchandise to individual travel. This allows them the freedom to choose what they want or need, depending on circumstances.
Whatever you do, don’t fall in the cash reward trap. It is perceived as compensation, less memorable, and actually valued less than the equivalent tangible rewards or gift cards. We can point you to the science of reward preference that proves it’s just not as desirable or effective.
If you don’t have a rewards platform in place, we can provide a turnkey option at low cost. It can be branded for your company and offers either tiers or access to our full Rewards Mall of over 40,000 merchandise items, individual travel, event tickets and gift cards.
If you call us today, we can have your platform up and running for you by next week. Really. It’s that easy
Take recognition virtual.
Just because you are cancelling your travel program, it doesn’t mean that people still don’t need recognition or a chance to come together. After all, recognition events solidify company messaging and are important community building events.
Some of our clients with a postponed or canceled travel program have chosen to take it virtual. They’re opting to hold a recognition event online, complete with special performances by celebrity entertainers. There are lots of innovations in virtual meeting technology.
Let’s talk about what you’d like to do to keep your team focused on your mission now. We can help.
As Vice President of Engagement Strategy & Corporate Services at Next Level Performance, Susan serves on the board of the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF), and chairs the IRF Research Committee. She has also served on the board of the Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) and is a past president of the Recognition Council, and a past member of the Performance Improvement Council and the Incentive and Engagement Solution Providers (IESP). She is interested in the strategies and benefits of employee engagement, incentive, and recognition programs. An avid traveler, she is also passionate about the art and science of incentive travel.