Ian Lucas
Red7 Founder
  • Business Travel,
  • Destinations,
  • incentive travel,
  • Travel

How Incentive Travel Helps Retain and Reward the Best Employees

Great talent is your business’ biggest asset. But staff turnover in the UK is at an all time high and competition for good talent is fierce. At Red7, we believe reward and incentive travel is the best way to hold onto your best employees Speak to our travel team to find out more...

It’s one of the biggest challenges faced by businesses: how do you attract top talent and make your company the destination of choice for the best candidates?

Then, once you’ve found your dream employee, how do you make sure they stay with you? Recruitment and retention of staff is one of the toughest - and not to mention costly - challenges an entrepreneur faces.

Incentive travel
Around 30 percent of employees say company perks are a top consideration when they consider a new job.
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How do you attract the top talent and make them stay?

Large corporations know this already and have extensive strategies in place, often led by large talent and development teams.  But with the exponential growth of small and medium-sized companies over previous years, SMEs are now realising they have to offer much more than a good salary to really hold on to the best talent.

“Organisations need to sharpen their focus on retention in the light of increased recruitment difficulties and competition for talent,” wrote Personnel Today recently. Competition for talent in the UK labour market is more fierce than ever according to a 2017 CIPD survey; turnover in the labour market has increased yet again – currently at 16.5 per cent, up from 14 percent in 2015.  

Engagement and retention is equally tough. A survey by Cascade, which asked 447 HR directors their views on the HR landscape for 2018 found that 44 per cent viewed employee engagement as their biggest challenge to overcome, closely followed by 36 per cent who viewed their greatest hurdle as staff retention. Absence management and recruitment came in as the third top concern at 36 percent.

“When employee engagement goes down,” Christoph Williams, talent and performance manager at Sony Europe told HR Magazine at the start of the year, “turnover goes up and retention goes down.” Williams warned that this was in part due to “too much emphasis on efficiency rather than rewarding work”.

The Answer is Incentive Travel

So what’s the answer? Upping wages rarely works and puts strain on an SME’s bottom line. Countless surveys have revealed that paying employees large sums of money is not enough to keep them happy at work.

In today’s working world, the hours are longer, the pressure and stress more intense and digital technology from WhatsApp to Slack means “working 9-5“ is little more than that Dolly Parton song released at time when a job still meant that – way back in 1980.

Employees rarely switch off  – in 2002 only 10 percent of employees checked their email outside office hours; now 50 percent will be working on their their smartphones before they’ve even got out of bed.  

So we say: get out, far away, from the office.  “If we took a holiday,” as the great, wise Madonna sang, “took some time to celebrate; just one day out of life, it would be, it would be so nice.” That’s our view at Red7, where creating great travel experiences is our passion and something we’ve been doing  as a business for 21 years.

With access to the best airfares and hotel rates, exclusive large-capacity luxe villas and cost effective private jet and private yacht hire we have long rewarded our own high performers and long-serving employees with “incentive travel” –  whether that’s a great holiday, a corporate retreat, or staff party and spa weekend.

Incentives and rewards are well recognised as one of the most effective ways of retaining star performers – with some figures giving up to a 20 percent ROI from those who receive them.  I’m proud to lead a fiercely loyal team and we’ve long rewarded our high performers and long-serving team members with incentive holidays.

It’s one of the biggest challenges faced by businesses: how do you attract top talent and make your company the destination of choice for the best candidates?

Then, once you’ve found your dream employee, how do you make sure they stay with you? Recruitment and retention of staff is one of the toughest – and not to mention costly – challenges an entrepreneur faces.

Large corporations know this already and have extensive strategies in place, often led by large talent and development teams.  But with the exponential growth of small and medium-sized companies over previous years, SMEs are now realising they have to offer much more than a good salary to really hold on to the best talent.

“Organisations need to sharpen their focus on retention in the light of increased recruitment difficulties and competition for talent,” wrote Personnel Today recently. Competition for talent in the UK labour market is more fierce than ever according to a 2017 CIPD survey; turnover in the labour market has increased yet again – currently at 16.5 per cent, up from 14 percent in 2015.  

Engagement and retention is equally tough. A survey by Cascade, which asked 447 HR directors their views on the HR landscape for 2018 found that 44 per cent viewed employee engagement as their biggest challenge to overcome, closely followed by 36 per cent who viewed their greatest hurdle as staff retention. Absence management and recruitment came in as the third top concern at 36 percent.

“When employee engagement goes down,” Christoph Williams, talent and performance manager at Sony Europe told HR Magazine at the start of the year, “turnover goes up and retention goes down.” Williams warned that this was in part due to “too much emphasis on efficiency rather than rewarding work”.

So what’s the answer? Upping wages rarely works and puts strain on an SME’s bottom line. Countless surveys have revealed that paying employees large sums of money is not enough to keep them happy at work.

In today’s working world, the hours are longer, the pressure and stress more intense and digital technology from WhatsApp to Slack means “working 9-5“ is little more than that Dolly Parton song released at time when a job still meant that – way back in 1980.

Employees rarely switch off  – in 2002 only 10 percent of employees checked their email outside office hours; now 50 percent will be working on their their smartphones before they’ve even got out of bed.  

So we say: get out, far away, from the office.  “If we took a holiday,” as the great, wise Madonna sang, “took some time to celebrate; just one day out of life, it would be, it would be so nice.” That’s our view at Red7, where creating great travel experiences is our passion and something we’ve been doing  as a business for 21 years.

With access to the best airfares and hotel rates, exclusive large-capacity luxe villas and cost effective private jet and private yacht hire we have long rewarded our own high performers and long-serving employees with “incentive travel” –  whether that’s a great holiday, a corporate retreat, or staff party and spa weekend.

Incentives and rewards are well recognised as one of the most effective ways of retaining star performers – with some figures giving up to a 20 percent ROI from those who receive them.  I’m proud to lead a fiercely loyal team and we’ve long rewarded our high performers and long-serving team members with incentive holidays.

This year, Red7 sales manager Viki Baines and my Executive Assistant Sadie Ball were whisked off on trips of a lifetime to celebrate their respective 10 year anniversaries at Red7.  Sadie headed to the coastal paradise of Bentota in Sri Lanka, while Viki relaxed in the Caribbean in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.

In 2017, to mark my return to the business after a few years out, I took the entire workforce on an all-expenses trip to Marbella. The team returned refreshed, relaxed and fired up to tackle our new chapter as Red7 expanded its services from bespoke Hen, Stag and Sten holidays to premium leisure travel, a new and improved business travel service and group sports tours.

The benefits of incentive travel are countless.  First up, you control the budget. Go low cost or high end: a weekend of cocktails, fish and chips, roller disco and rides at Dreamland in Margate can be just as much fun for your staff as a five star getaway to a luxury five star resort in the Caribbean (plus you avoid the jet lag).

Next up: getting out of the office make employees happy – not only do they return refreshed and more productive (and research bears this out), they become advocates and ambassadors for your business; telling family, friends and social media followers that your company is a great place to work. Time away from your own desk might feel like a waste of working time, but spending time with employees in an inspirational destination helps them understand your company and vision better than during endless meetings or the day-to-day office grind.  

The promise of great reward trips promote healthy competition among staff.  It’s not just for employees either. Incentive travel can be a powerful tool for client PR trips, a chance to brainstorm on new business with new contacts. Red7 also helps SMEs by establishing their own Staff Travel Club. This gives employees the ability to pay for their holidays in monthly instalments whilst they are employed by you further increasing the chances of retention. Ultimately, great travel is memorable, it strengthens teams, makes people happy and fulfilled and reminds employees that their hard work is truly worth it.

In 2017, to mark my return to the business after a few years out, I took the entire workforce on an all-expenses trip to Marbella. The team returned refreshed, relaxed and fired up to tackle our new chapter as Red7 expanded its services from bespoke Hen, Stag and Sten holidays to premium leisure travel, a new and improved business travel service and group sports tours.

The benefits of incentive travel are countless.  First up, you control the budget. Go low cost or high end: a weekend of cocktails, fish and chips, roller disco and rides at Dreamland in Margate can be just as much fun for your staff as a five star getaway to a luxury five star resort in the Caribbean (plus you avoid the jet lag).

Next up: getting out of the office make employees happy – not only do they return refreshed and more productive (and research bears this out), they become advocates and ambassadors for your business; telling family, friends and social media followers that your company is a great place to work. Time away from your own desk might feel like a waste of working time, but spending time with employees in an inspirational destination helps them understand your company and vision better than during endless meetings or the day-to-day office grind.  

The promise of great reward trips promote healthy competition among staff.  It’s not just for employees either. Incentive travel can be a powerful tool for client PR trips, a chance to brainstorm on new business with new contacts. Red7 also helps SMEs by establishing their own Staff Travel Club. This gives employees the ability to pay for their holidays in monthly instalments whilst they are employed by you further increasing the chances of retention. Ultimately, great travel is memorable, it strengthens teams, makes people happy and fulfilled and reminds employees that their hard work is truly worth it.

Speak to our Business Travel Team 

01273 872200

Red7’s top incentive travel destinations for 2018

Obonjan Island, Croatia

Glamping on Obonjan Island off the west coast of Croatia has the benefit of having everything in one place – making it super practical for groups. Great value and great weather, there’s daily yoga and watersports a fantastic swimming pool, bars, restaurants and DJs playing once the sun goes down.

Poolside Restaurant Obonjan Island Croatia
The fantastic poolside Restaurant, Obonjan Island, Croatia

Marbella, Spain

A great choice all year round sun – brilliant for a summer trip or for giving staff a lift in the grey British winter. In 2017, Red7 took its employees away on an all-expenses paid holiday to Marbella to enjoy the luxe beach clubs, fresh seafood and sexy sangria.

Ibiza, Spain

A great choice for a no-holds barred party weekend: rent a private yacht (great for team bonding) or a luxe villa, Ibiza has stunning scenery, sun, sea, sand, luxe beach clubs and parties at legendary super clubs.

Villa Aquatic Ibiza - sleeps 12
Villa Aquatic on Ibiza – sleeps 12 – perfect for a Corporate Retreat

Italy

What could be better than relaxing in this lavish mansion set in glorious grounds Perfect for brainstorming your next creative campaign.

Italy villa corporate retreat
Italian Villa Araldica – perfect for a Corporate Retreat

New York

Fire up your team with a trip to the Big Apple, where business never sleeps and work ethic is everything. Our travel technicians will book you on the best flights, meaning you can do a trip to the east coast of the States over a long weekend.

For more information on Red7’s bespoke incentive travel programmes for your business, www.red7.co.uk or 01273 872200

A version of this article was first published in Platinum Business Magazine, July 2018