Performance improvement in the ‘new normal’
Reward high performers with a unique weekend of inclusive experiences from the comfort and safety of their own home.
Have you had to hold off on delivering your planned incentive programmes due to the events of 2020? Or perhaps your staff have gone above and beyond in recent months and you’d like to recognise that. Lucky for you, virtual incentives are now a reality, and as part of the ‘new normal’ we find ourselves in, rewarding staff through an online experience can still deliver the WOW factor.
For over half the year now, sales teams have been missing out on previously promised rewards, with no new date in sight anytime soon. Virtual events and experiences have seen a massive increase in uptake understandably, so why not turn your planned incentive reward experience, into a virtual one, and deliver it now without further delay.
With virtual incentives the sky really is the limit. Budget that usually would be blown on travel and accommodation can be reallocated to A-List celebrity appearances, bespoke virtual seminars and personalised deliveries that all combine to create a unique, at home experience that is safe, timely, and cancellation proof.
We’ve been delivering a lot of virtual experiences recently – read more about our most recent virtual experience here – so we thought we would share our top tips with you for creating your own at home reward experience .
Know your winners
Of course, with a live incentive trip you would always speak to your winners in advance and make sure you were catering to their individual needs and requirements. So, any virtual experience will need to be as bespoke but in a slightly different way. What space do winners need to take part in any activities? If you are cooking for example, do they have a suitable kitchen? If winners have children, pets or other people at home will they be able to take part still? Could you adapt any activities to allow other people in the house to get involved? These are all things to consider when choosing your activities. It is definitely not a one size fits all approach to a virtual incentive itinerary, and it needs to be completely tailored to each group of winners.
Don’t forget the tech
You probably don’t need to allocate a large part of the budget to high spec production of video content if everyone is watching it on a small laptop screen, but you need to make sure the content delivers well, and the user experience is straight forward. Whatever tech you’re using, the key is to have it all hosted from one central place, such as a webapp. This create a user-friendly experience, that facilitates conversation, interaction, and one single location to view the content from.
And as always, test, test, and test again!
Content is king, but so is engagement
You may have the best activity schedule with anything, and everything needed for a jam-packed weekend of fun and frolics. But if your activities don’t help to bring the group together and allow for time to socialise – albeit through a web camera – then you aren’t creating a shared experience. Make sure your hosts & speakers are specialists in delivering virtual content. Presenting online through a webcam is a very different task to getting up and speaking in person to a room of people sat in front of you. Brief your hosts and speakers well and, if necessary, provide training.
So much of the joy on an incentive trip is from sharing unique experiences with others that helps to form new friendships with colleagues. Its challenging to translate that online, but you can still facilitate social interaction. As we have all experienced recently through zoom quizzes, it is noisy if you have more than a few people on a group chat! So, running smaller intimate breakout activities, or even setting up virtual dinner tables with up to 6 people at each, will allow for easier conversation to flow between everyone to break the ice.
Add the wow factor
Again, you need to know your audience here to make sure you hit the spot for their interests and tastes. Of course, celebrity experiences with opportunities for online 121s with famous faces and idols is one way to hit the mark.
Also adding a surprise element with something out of the ordinary, like you usually might do on a traditional incentive, will help to deliver the unique experience that is expected with a hard-earned incentive prize. Remember the purpose is to reward hard-work, and motivate for the future.
It can’t all be virtual
You will undoubtedly need some physical element to the experience in order to facilitate activities, and really create a full sensory experience for the winners to enjoy. Incentive trips usually revolve around fabulous food and drink, so a virtual weekend should be no different.
You can also provide additional items & gifts to create an ‘incentive at home’ experience in the form of an upscaled swag bag.
Balance your itinerary
Just as you would with a traditional trip, you need to factor in downtime to the schedule to make sure the experience is relaxed, and not a regimented ‘plan of fun’.
When it comes to virtual experiences it can be easy to forget your winners have at home lives they are in amongst, whilst joining the various sessions. So additional downtime and breaks need to be planned in.
There are many more elements that are needed to create a successful virtual incentive experience, but we are keeping the rest to ourselves for now! So, if you are considering rewarding your staff and need more tips and ideas for activities, then get in touch to see how we can help.