Every city in this world is unique, with the people making them different. It’s the culture and the arts, the dance forms, the landscape, the rejuvenation styles, the work-life balance, the trade and the commerce, authentic food, modern outlook, agriculture, passionate people, the heritage sites, the adopted culture, the communities etc. that render them their uniqueness. The true flavour of this uniqueness is carved out ‘By The People and For The People’. Experiences manifest and evolve when people drive this difference. With the rising popularity of experiences, it is quite evident that they have become the norm.
Catering To The Millennial Moods
It is no surprise that the experiences market has been adopted both on the corporate and consumer side, especially by the millennials. The millennial generation wants to invest time doing activities that cater to their passion and interests. Experiences fit naturally into their scheme of things as they look for an occasional adrenaline rush, a frequent deep relaxation, an increasingly-good conversation, an unpredictable journey to an unknown land, a chance to defy the laws of nature, an opportunity to be different, an excuse to bend rules and break stereotypes; some lip-smacking food with lilting ambience, a knack to learn something new, a constant escape from boredom and a desire to embrace newer ways of life every single day.
They want to make every moment of their lives count and render every memory of their past cherishable and worth sharing like a story. They want to look back at their past with pride, enjoy every moment in the present and experience a future full of adventure and uncertainty. They are open to life, love to meet new people, have a great deal of fun and regret nothing at the end of the day. It is for these very reasons that people have started endorsing experiences, to create memories which would last for a lifetime.
Experiences As Corporate Rewards
Nowadays, even corporates have started utilizing experiences in the form of Rewards and Recognition (RnR). They have begun to realize the value of their human resource and rewarding them the right way to build a strong organizational culture, improve performance and productivity and to drive ownership. Most organizations now have a well-defined HR policy framework for the entire employee lifecycle that enables them to decide the size of rewards and the nature of recognition that they give to employees.
The redefinition of employee appreciation was a result of the various challenges that arose in the pre-existing scheme of rewards and recognition, such as attracting and retaining employees, and the lack of enthusiasm among employees receiving awards such as trophies and mementos.
As a result, companies have started rewarding employees with experiences on various personal – Birthdays, Weddings, Anniversaries, Child Birth - and professional occasions – rewards like Employee Referrals, SPOT Awards, Team Awards, Long Service Awards and many more. Some of the companies that have started using such experiences are Accenture, Infosys, Adobe, Microsoft, and startups such as Ola, Furlenco and Snapdeal.
The Evolution Of Experiences
Today, the concept of experiences has spread much beyond theaters and theme parks. People want real-life thrills and won’t settle for anything less. They want to create cherishable memories instead of accumulating tangible valuables. That’s how they want their life to be – full of happiness, memories, and fun.
People want to skydive rather than own a private plane. They prefer to snorkel in the sea and catch a first-hand view of marine life instead of feeling bored at home. They want to visit forests and farms and explore village life instead of owning a property. They would rather trek, camp and hike in the snow-clad mountains than buy jewellery with that money. They want to pursue aerobics and yoga rather than spend on medical bills. They prefer a walking tour of an old city rather than own a luxury car with a chauffeur.
They want to connect with people and explore diverse cultures rather than laze in the comfort of their homes. They prefer a candlelit dinner with their partner on a yacht far from the shore and enjoy the conversation in solitude rather than cook and eat at home with the television turned on. They prefer experiences over assets, freedom over stereotypes and memories over boredom.
It won’t be an overstatement to say that employee recognition is coming of age with more and more enterprises and people endorsing experience rewards. Owing to the personalized touch and a strong human element, experiences help establish an emotional connect between the giver and the receiver.