Mainstream incentive travel programmes are ineffective
in improving company performance, according to David Baker, founder of
performance improvement agency DBMT.
A veteran of the incentive industry who is now a consultant,
Baker believes that incentive travel schemes only work for 10/15 per cent of the
“These are the top performers who are already motivated and they seek the recognition that winning a travel programme provides,” he said. “What concerns me is the 85 per cent of the sales force who fail to be motivated by the travel campaign. It's often obvious who’s going to win before
the programme has started as they are previous winners and are known within the sales force for their achievements. If that's the case, those average participants might say ‘why should I bother?’”
In fact, Baker thinks traditional incentive programmes are
often a waste of money and could do more damage to the motivation of ‘Mr
Average’ than they do to improve the performance of the top sales people.
“I’d like to see more management understanding of motivation,”
he said. “Motivation takes place long before you talk about travel trips; it’s
about company culture and people skills.
“Incentives, marketing, training and communication should all form part of
a long term engagement programme, implemented from the top down. There are too
many people who have come into the incentive market who really don’t know it,
just selling travel and vouchers to make a quick buck. For the industry that’s
Pictured: David Baker