This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0
 

  The Herman Trend Alert

February 12, 2003

Creative Rewards for Employees

In many companies, employees are rewarded for hard work in traditional ways: Christmas bonuses, benefits, paid vacations. However, employers are searching for new ways to reward their employees. They're sensitive to the need to value their employees more as the pool of quality workers shrinks, yet reluctant to spend money on expensive trips.

The emerging trend is to bring people together for a shared adventure. White water rafting can be a bit extreme; a walk in the park lacks excitement. The middle ground: Bicycle trips. The bicycle tour market, around for a while as recreation, is beginning to fulfill a valuable purpose in the corporate world. Company or departmental bike trips are a different kind of experience, safe and well-supported by professionals. Bike tour companies specialize in local trips (an afternoon away from the office) and/or longer trips across the country or into other countries. The tour company takes care of the details, provides bicycles and guides, and allows the participants to just enjoy themselves.

Besides being a wonderful perk, bicycle excursions build relationships and a feeling of teamwork that cannot be artificially grown in a conference or day seminar. The bicycle tour experience affords employees the opportunity to socialize outside the working environment---they return with laughter, stories, and pictures. People who are refreshed, motivated, and invigorated enjoy their work even more. The team that plays together, stays together, so these excursions can help build the bonds that increase employee retention.

Bike trips are organized as special events, planned around local attractions. And they're scheduled as brain-break activities at conventions and corporate meetings. These and similar outings will be used to strengthen the shared-experience team feeling among executives and managers. They'll be enjoyed by non-management employees who will appreciate a little wellness- based time away from the workload. University interns will have opportunities to spend some informal time with corporate leaders, encouraging them to stay on as full-time employees after graduation.

An example of this trend is the Bicycle Tour Company (www.bicycletours.com). Sal Lilienthal can answer questions at 888-711-KENT in Kent, Connecticut. Other websites describe similar companies around the world.


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