Incentive trips have a strong track record of motivating, retaining, rewarding key staff, raising morale and increasing loyalty. When companies add a community development component to an incentive trip, not only do employee’s trip feedback ratings go off the charts as a result of the meaningful interaction that comes from volunteering, but a company’s CSR profile gets a boost.
These CSR-friendly incentive trips retain all the old favorites of an incentive trip, such as gala dinners, incredible activities and luxury hotels (although the right provider can assist with finding ‘eco-luxe’ hotels that have strong environmental and social credentials) and are overlaid with a high impact project funded by the company, and completed by the employees. Examples are building libraries and houses, or renovating schools and orphanages. The key is that the CSR-focused company firstly consults with local communities (or a good voluntourism provider consults on their behalf) to identify areas of need, then funds the costs (including hiring local expert builders to do the bulk of the work), leaving the company’s staff to spend a couple of days applying the finishing touches, getting to know the locals, and handing the completed project over to the community.
These trips are truly “win-win,” especially when the company demonstrates a long-term commitment to the project. For example, it might provide scholarships for students to go on to high school, or bikes to get there or uniforms to wear. Many companies start a Facebook page to keep the incentive winners updated on the children long after they return home. Attendees are left feeling more closely bonded with their teams and the lives they have touched.