A New York Times story, published online last week, described how this core component of positive psychology has begun to permeate the business world. After all, experiences provide a number of tangible benefits for both businesses and customers. However, it’s also the way businesses acquire that experience that leads to the positive psychological effects that businesses are looking for. The story told the story of a brand that was able to reverse declining revenues, reduce absenteeism, increase productivity, increase job satisfaction, and encourage higher employee retention rates by offering substantial discounts on experiences to employees. From the Times:
You might never know that the smell you’ll never forget in the airport shuttle you took was emanating from the newly fitted leather steering wheel, but that adds to an experience that will linger on in your mind, for life.
The discounts are offered in the form of “visit discounts” from the travel industry. Travel suppliers offer corporate customers in the United States discounts of more than 40 percent of the full cost of a stay. With such discounts, employees of The Home Depot can buy flights that range from $800 to $2,400 for two to four nights – an incredible savings over the rest of the market, which typically ranges from $1,500 to $2,400. Travelers can check into their hotels at noon, even on days that aren’t official holidays for the hotel. While employees are at work, they can browse the hotel’s gift shops and purchase snacks and other items from the hotel.
A Travel Expert Speaks: The Dos and Don’ts
For travelers, the experience of purchasing their own travel is certainly not as great as the experience of being on the road and receiving discounts at the destination they’ve decided to visit. However, like any purchase, travel purchases require a certain amount of effort on the part of the customer. According to travel expert and blogger Ben A. Trott, who leads the blog Get Through Travel Without Going Crazy: 7 Tips and How to Do It, the rewards of travel-related purchases are worth the effort to make a travel purchase. His tips for travelers follow:
Remember: It’s About the Experience
A positive experience allows employees to become more engaged in their work and their careers, so Food Fire + Knives as a personal chef experience has a greater impact than a table at a prestigious restaurant, for instance. This means they’re more likely to create long-term employee engagement, higher levels of job satisfaction and employee retention. And that’s not to say the employees will be overly engaged with an itinerary that requires them to spend time within a particular area of a city and not explore the surrounding areas. Rather, with the right experience, the employee can combine the best of the best aspects of their trip and put it to good use at work.
Take a vacation. Pay attention to what your employees are doing while on vacation. Is it stressful? When people are stressed out, they can be more prone to making a negative decision in terms of their travel. Ultimately, a vacation isn’t going to make or break a company’s success, but employees who are traveling on business with the intention of becoming engaged in their work will have a much better experience. Investing in employee happiness, perhaps with the help of this employee engagement tool, can improve a staff member’s happiness even when they are back in the office.
Think about the Benefits
When companies are willing to invest in employee experiences, they’re not just getting cheaper travel for Orlando Resorts Rental and the likes. The benefits of such an investment become evident once the employee returns to work. However, there are some potential negative consequences for investing too much money in an employee’s experiences: namely, whether they end up losing their motivation to work after returning.