Employee Incentives: Our Internal Adventure Trek Program

Jun 1, 2021

Adventure Trek is our internal employee incentives program. We designed this program in 2021 to engage and motivate each other, and most of all to help employees feel proud of their accomplishments and empowered to take on new challenges. When we reach the summit, everyone is at the top of the mountain looking back to see what they were capable of doing - and able to look ahead and think, “I got that!!!”

This post shares all the juicy details about the plan, the prizes, and our results. Hint: it's working really well! Read on to get some great ideas for your own employee incentives.

The purpose for the program:

  • Motivation, engagement, and empowerment
  • Keep KPIs top of mind
  • Everyone completes all their KPIs
  • Promote teamwork
  • Have fun!

The employee incentive prizes:

We started with a kickoff meeting where we gave each employee a high-quality backpack to start the journey. Our Executive Leadership Team went over the whole program - what all the prizes are, how to earn points, the team structure, and our goals for the program. (Scroll to the bottom to download the slide deck!)

Our employees get stickers and badges for earning points, plus a series of great prizes for accumulated points. We gave the incentive program more impact by creating a theme: the prizes have our logo or the Adventure Trek logo on them, and they're all adventure/outdoor-related so they feel like part of a cohesive program.

The first year prizes:

Besides these fun badges and stickers, employees earned:

How we earn points for these incentives:

  • Read the book. Every year we focus on a book to inspire us and find ways to improve our culture and ourselves.
  • Volunteer. SOLV pays for up to 4 hours a month of volunteer hours, and our CORE team coordinates volunteer opportunities to help our communities. It's an opportunity to do some team-building and live out our mission at the same time - Helping through excellence, opportunity, and service.
  • Lead a Tuesday Teams meeting. We get together on Microsoft Teams once a week for education and team-building, and employees have frequent opportunities to take the lead.
  • Lead a Lunch & Learn. Everyone has skills and knowledge other people may not have, and this opportunity encourages us to share and help each other grow.
  • Process improvements. We have company-wide process improvement goals that our employees are encouraged to participate in. Our cross-department teams are doing a great job streamlining our processes!
  • Receive testimonials from customers or from peers.
  • Complete your KPIs. Employees set their own stretch goals each year, things that will help them and the company grow. Completing a KPI earns points and cash!

How we support and encourage each other:

We work in teams, each one led by a member of our CORE team. We have team jerseys, and we track our progress in our monthly Town Hall meetings. Each and every month, we share the updated progress chart in a company-wide meeting so we can get a little friendly competition going and think about how to help teammates who may be struggling.

Incentive program results:

Less than halfway through the first year, and we had multiple people who had already earned their camp chairs - the highest prize level. We had multiple people who had completed several of their KPIs. We completed numerous process improvements. We had a lot of people motivated and excited to do those above-and-beyond things that build our team and our culture. And we had teams helping and encouraging those that fell behind.

It's a competition, but we all win!

How to create your own successful employee incentive program

This program has been such a great success for us! We highly recommend putting something similar in place for your team. The key things to keep in mind:

  1. Choose desirable prizes.
  2. Include lots of smaller incentives so people stay encouraged.
  3. Use the program to achieve work goals, but also to reinforce your company values.
  4. Keep the points visible and top of mind with frequent communication.
  5. Most of all, keep it fun!

If you've thought about implementing something like this with your team, we'd love to help with everything from the ideas and program design to sourcing the hottest, most enticing prizes. Leave us a message and we'll be in touch!

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