The Herman Trend Alert
Creative Rewards for Employees
February 12, 2003
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
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
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