Bruce Rickert is president of Peak Performance Tours, a company that began in student travel about fourteen years ago. He also knows a little something about incentive travel. Incentive travel may be an opportunity for top salespeople to interact with higher-ups or with people who make their products, via events and seminars in a different destination. Typically, incentive destinations are thought of as something special—such as the Caribbean or Mexico.
"We work with companies that use travel incentives for retaining highly skilled employees," Rickert said. Oiler drillers are among those recognized for a job well done, sometimes receiving a set dollar amount in incentive travel for each year worked or a trip based on length of service. There are gains, as well: As turnover decreases, companies aren't investing in hiring and training replacements. He mentions research showing that travel is a better incentive than money alone. "With a dream vacation or travel experience," Rickert said, "they're coming back and talking about it, and excitement is generated throughout the office."
Rickert notes that even the smallest companies like to recognize team performance, sometimes via something as simple as a hotel stay. "Recognition is important," he said. "There are a lot of ways to recognize people that don't cost a lot of money. But if they're helping you build your company and you're profiting from it, why not spend a little money on them?"
Rickert knows a little something about recognition, too, and notes that a lot of Peak Performance's successes have to do with its employees. About eight years ago, someone called him for a trip to Las Vegas and a Hoover Dam tour and had the company book the trip and travel for 150 people. Rickert and some of his staff went, too, and said, "Hey, let's do more of this." You might say they lucked into incentive travel.
Read more about Rickert and group incentive tours in our Digital Magazine!