Group Travel is the Number One Motivating Tool

Motivational travel—including group travel, individual travel and family travel—may not be a household term to the average person, but its power has been well established in the business world for over a decade. The Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) defines it as “…a powerful business tool for helping organizations achieve key business objectives.” At the root of it all, target audiences (employees, dealers and customers) are inspired to perform at a higher level or remain loyal in exchange for a travel incentive award.

Successful motivational travel programs will maximize Return on Investment (ROI) and Value on Investment (VOI) for the company and Return on Experience (ROE) for the participant.

ROI measurements are based on financial gains for the company. It can be measured by subtracting the expenses of the investment from measurable gains from the investment and dividing again by the overall cost.  Like any investment, the company expects to see a sizeable increase in revenues for a relatively small cost when implementing a motivational travel program. Investing dollars in travel programs will be a wise choice for a company if this decision results in large gains in incremental performance and loyalty by the employee, dealer or customer.

Since tangible returns are not always apparent, VOI is another measurement that considers return benefits associated with motivation travel programs. Although VOI is difficult to define, like ROI, it can be extremely valuable to a company. Improvements in relationships, communication, loyalty and innovation are all good examples of metrics used to define VOI.

ROE on the other hand is all about intangible benefits for the recipient of the travel award. The participant must determine that the experience they will earn is worth the additional effort that is required to qualify and compete for the ultimate prize. For the trip of a lifetime, participants often go to great lengths becoming very competitive amongst their colleagues. Delivering experiences that are memorable yet cost-effective is the challenge for the travel planner.

A recent study conducted by SITE and IMEX published in The Meetings Magazines in May 2014 surveyed participants from more than 16 countries and found that group travel leads the list of utilized motivation tools. The top motivators were listed in terms of the percentage of respondents who used them in their programs.

  1. Group Travel – 62%
  2. Recognition – 44%
  3. Training – 40%
  4. Individual Travel – 31%
  5. Family Travel – 22%

Other trends of note in the motivational travel industry:

  • Supplier relationships are crucial – 83% said that past experiences and relationships with suppliers strongly affected their provider selection.
  • Top management and purchasing departments are involved in buying decision – 59% said that one single person did not make incentive travel decisions but decision makers were typically in upper-management. Procurement departments influence 52% of buying decisions.
  • Price and lead time are key factors in decisions – 65% said price was the main reason for a bid being lost to a competitor and 48% thought that lead time affected submission quality.
  • Trade shows are great places to find service providers – 81% of providers and 79% of users said that they attend trade shows to find new suppliers or meet with existing ones.

The value of incentive travel awards has been proven time and time again. According to SITE 88.6% of those who earned travel rewards agree that it made them feel appreciated, 72.4% said their loyalty increased towards their employer, 77% of winners said incentive travel made them feel like a more integral part of the company and 53% said connecting with senior management was a positive and motivational experience.

If you are looking to implement a group travel program or examine other motivation tools for your company, please give us a call at 949.476.2788 or send me an email at

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Kristopher Hewkin


JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

2014’s Top 10 Best Cities for Employee Recognition

Are you trying to draw savvy employees to your company? Companies with engaged employees have a significant advantage over their competitors. Not only do they see increased productivity and high retention rates, but an engaging workplace culture pulls in the industry’s top talent. Who wouldn’t want to work at a business that visibly values its employees, fosters a vibrant work environment and makes employee appreciation a main focus?

Forbes Magazine reported that a study released by Quantum Workplace revealed which cities have the best employee engagement rates. The annual list, which draws on responses from nearly 5,000 companies representing 400,000 employees, asks employees about how often they feel they are recognized with incentives such as professional development, time off, tangible rewards, and verbal praise.

So who is doing it right?

The Top 10 Best Cities for Employee Recognition

1. Huntsville, AL (Percent of Satisfied Employees: 73)
2. Nashville, TN (Percent of Satisfied Employees: 69)
3. Austin, TX (Percent of Satisfied Employees: 68)
4. San Antonio, TX (Percent of Satisfied Employees: 68)
5. Washington, D.C. (Percent of Satisfied Employees: 68)
6. Atlanta, GA (Percent of Satisfied Employees: 67)
7. Charlotte, NC (Percent of Satisfied Employees: 67)
8. Orlando, FL (Percent of Satisfied Employees: 67)
9. Raleigh, NC (Percent of Satisfied Employees: 67)
10. Tampa, FL (Percent of Satisfied Employees: 67)


Employee Recognition Huntsville
Huntsville, AL

Before you buy a ticket to Huntsville, AL in attempts to snag some happy employees, stop and think about how you can start increasing employee recognition with your existing employees. Understanding why these cities rank so highly on the list and applying this knowledge to your organization is invaluable.

Discover how JNR can improve your employee engagement levels with unique incentives such as incentive travel, prepaid reward cards, merchandise and other cutting edge programs by sending us an email at or giving us a call at 949.476.2788.

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Kelly Woolsey


JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

Two Ways to Grow Faster Than the Fortune 500

A group of businesses boasting annual growth rates of approximately double those of the Fortune 500 companies was surveyed recently, and they had some fascinating insights to share. The average annual growth rate of those included in the study was 15.3%, compared to 7.8% for the Fortune 500 companies. Improvements in the two areas highlighted below can be instrumental in helping your organization achieve similar yearly gains.

Prioritize Salesman Training and Employee Retention

Salesman coaching and employee retention topped the list of priorities for these organizations that grew so rapidly. The case for salesman coaching lies in the fact that it takes new sales representatives more than six months to start becoming productive employees. Decreasing the learning curve with improved training will lead to increased sales. The importance of employee retention can be summed up by the high attrition figures with 19-27% of the average sales force leaving the company from year to year. High attrition rates can stifle productivity and lead to increased training costs.

Improvements to your training policies and procedures in conjunction with a strong employee retention program will get you on the road to following in the footsteps of these envious organizations. Reinforcing training with employee recognition programs that utilize both intrinsic and extrinsic motivators is essential to maximizing sales performance.

Synchronize Sales and Marketing Efforts

The misalignment of sales and marketing is estimated to decrease annual revenues by over 10%. Also, 65% of companies that make sales and marketing alignment a priority state that their sales revenues are the main driver of their strategy. Ensuring that marketing collateral, sales materials, sales scripts, and discovery guides are received ahead of new product launches were the vital components that fueled sales and marketing synergy according to the study.

Enhancing communication between sales and marketing may sound like a simple objective but it’s not always that easy. It may be time to integrate both departments and share information without falling victim to inter-department politics. Both sales and marketing will benefit from knowledge sharing. Planning that ensures marketing is one step ahead of new products with quality collateral will also cure many problems.

How We Can Help

JNR incorporated has the unique tools necessary to allow you to prioritize sales training, increase employee retention and synchronize sales and marketing efforts. Our employee incentive programs include unique incentives, such as incentive travel, prepaid reward cards, merchandise, and meeting and event planning in addition to employee recognition programs. Each and every program cost effectively reinforces advances in employee education and employee retention.

We also have a full service marketing and advertising team complete with graphic design, web design, printing, purchasing, and fulfillment that makes it easy to have collateral, advertising, and communications that are delivered ahead of schedule and are effective, compelling, and aesthetically pleasing. Ask us how we took one company with 5 years of stagnant sales and engineered a 25% increase in revenues in just a few months. Feel free to visit our website at or read other blog postings at for further resources.

Source: SAVO Group Ltd. White Paper “The 7 Attributes of Companies That Outpace the Fortune 500”

Take It from Those Who Know Best: Non-Cash Rewards Drive Sales Performance


Often times, the most effective way to improve your organization is to take a cue from those who are currently excelling in your industry. Organizations that exhibit superior performance have thrived for a reason, and not learning from their experiences would represent a major oversight. The Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) recently published a study conducted by the Aberdeen Group that evaluates non-cash incentives and rewards based on their utilization by “Best-In-Class” companies.

Best-In-Class companies were categorized as the top 20% of firms, and had “higher customer retention rates, higher year-over-year increases in the number of sales reps achieving sales quota” among other superior qualities. A majority of these organizations cited non-cash incentives and rewards as a “vital component” of sales performance management.

The key findings:

  • Incentive Travel is Essential: 100% of Best-In-Class organizations utilize Incentive Travel to motivate their sales force
  • Internal Sales Employee Recognition Programs Produce Results: 14.8% higher team quota attainment and 5.9% higher customer renewal rate was achieved by organizations with formal internal sales employee recognition programs
  • Company Sponsored Events Are Vital: Best-In-Class firms were 75% more likely to offer company sponsored events as incentives
  • Outsourcing Program Management Leads to Improved Sales Figures: Companies that outsource the management of non-cash incentive programs show higher lead conversion rates (30.4% vs. 23.9%) and lower average sales cycles (4.2 months vs. 5.3 months)

Best-In-Class firms are effectively utilizing and outsourcing the management of their non-cash incentive programs to further the success of their organizations. It is crucial to take a cue from the superior performers, and not fall in line with the laggards or industry average businesses.

Finding a company to manage your incentive program is a crucial decision that is vital to the success of your program. Visit our website at today and let us prove to you that we are the company that will provide results for you.

Kristopher Hewkin

Source: The Incentive Research Foundation “Press Release: ‘Best-In-Class’ Firms Prefer Non-Cash Rewards to Drive Sales Performance”

The Millennials Have Arrived, and We Deserve Employee Recognition

Are there any sweeter employee rewards than all-inclusive travel programs?  As a passionate marketer and a proud member of the Millennials Generation, I cannot imagine anything better.  We are a wholly unique collection of young professionals that value employee recognition more than any before us. My generation has experienced incredible shifts in technology, entertainment, business, and politics, all of which is captured in an excellent advertisement from Internet Explorer.

There are several important things to know about Millennials.  For starters, we actually outnumber Baby Boomers.  Despite the feverish efforts of marketers to prepare for the impending “silver tsunami”, there are 3 million more Millennials than Baby Boomers today, and we will outnumber Boomers by 22 million in 2030.

We love technology.  Facebook launched during my junior year of high school.  YouTube entered our lives in my freshman year of college.  Our phones have transformed from clunky bricks to ultra-powerful, endlessly useful communication hubs.  TVs are Smart.  Refrigerators are Smart.  Watches are Smart.  If businesses want to capture our rapidly decreasing attention spans, digital mastery must be a top priority.

The only thing smarter than our phones is us!  According to a Pew Study for PGAV Destinations, 54% of Millennials have at least some education.  Who can blame us?  Depending on who you talk to, human knowledge doubles every 2-5 years, and is exponentially increasing.

What does all of this mean for businesses aiming to increase productivity or reward performance within our unique segment?  Businesses need to take a page from the late Rodney Dangerfield and give us some respect!  We are tech-savvy, intellectually capable, and there are plenty of us.  In return for outstanding efforts, what better way to reward employees than with travel programs and incentive rewards that are tailor-made to fit our needs?

JNR Incorporated offers both travel programs and incentive rewards programs that are customized for each individual audience.  Travel destinations include exotic countries such as Peru, Bali, South Africa, etc. that offer amazing learning opportunities that can only be discovered firsthand.  Easy-to-navigate websites and mobile apps provide the savvy traveler with effortless ways to stay connected.

Entitlement awards are not what Millennials deserve, nor what we expect.  Incentive travel programs and prepaid MasterCard® Reward Cards must be earned through outstanding effort and by propelling your business forward.  We know this.  We understand this.  We simply ask that businesses recognize our unique segment and target employee rewards to our unique needs.

For more information visit our website at

Brandon Learish

Marketing, JNR Incorporated