Employees at hotel toiletry supplier Pacific Direct were rewarded with an all-expenses paid holiday to Barbados when the firm’s profits exceeded a projected £1 million target. The trip, which took place in January and cost £50,000, included accommodation in a five-star hotel, food and drink, spending money and activities such as water-skiing. The Bedford-based organisation has previously taken staff on company weekends to destinations such as Watford and Stratford upon Avon.
The response Stuart Duff, head of development at occupational psychologists Pearn Kandola, said that such rewards could be a powerful incentive for staff, but would not suit all organisations. "I would hate to pour water on this, but there’s a reason why a lot of organisations don’t do it. It’s almost like rewarding staff with a subtle team building event." For example, only inviting employees and not their families may create childcare problems for staff. It also works on the assumptions that all staff will be motivated by the reward and that all have worked equally hard to deserve it. But he added that, in the right organisation, holidays can be an effective motivator. "It reinforces expectations that if you work hard, you will be rewarded. Psychologically, it creates greater cohesion within the company."