The Apprentice understands that experiences make the best motivation

What gives you more satisfaction? The purchase of material goods, or the anticipation and memories of a fun experience?

We’re now fully back into the swing of things with The Apprentice, series 11 showing that while the faces in the boardroom and the nature of the opportunity on offer may change, British TV viewers are still firmly hooked on watching bumbling business “gurus” fall flat on their faces in a range of faintly ludicrous tasks.

But while it’s often remarked that the challenges on the Apprentice bear too little resemblance to the reality of running a successful business, what gets less attention is that the BBC1 show knows exactly how to motivate the candidates. Every week until the finals, while the losers are sent to reflect on their failings in a rundown cafe, we see the winning team rewarded with a thrilling experience.

Here’s just a few of the prizes that have been won in the past:

-Clay pigeon shooting at a country club

-Dinner on the Orient Express

-A trip on the London Eye with champagne – the first ever prize

-A visit to a Monaco casino with the task winnings to gamble

-Flying lessons

-Indoor skydiving

-Spa sessions

-Cookery classes from professional chefs

-Race car driving

-Champagne, caviar and craft beer tasting

-Climbing up the O2

You might almost think that the depressed looks on the losing team’s faces reflect their disappointment at not getting a treat as much as the potential they’ll be going home.

Research has shown that the thought of an upcoming experience elicits more happiness and excitement than waiting to receive a material good, which can also provoke feelings of impatience rather than pleasant anticipation.

But people are less likely to compare the value of experiences since they are entirely subjective, and especially when shared, as they are on The Apprentice, they deliver positive memories for years afterwards, even when sometimes things aren’t as perfect as imagined. That’s because our minds accentuate the positive in hindsight – rainy family holidays are often fondly looked back on for the fun games of cards spent in the tent rather than the attractions that were missed.

Experiences make a great reward for hard-working employees, or for building team spirit, but they also make for the perfect gift for a loved one – the happiness at getting a new tablet fades, whereas the sensation of taking a bungee jump in Spain or going wine-tasting in Italy will last a lifetime.

We can argue til’ the cows come home about whether Lord Sugar was right to fire this person or that, but it’s indisputable that when it comes to inspiring success in the tasks, The Apprentice sees the value of experiences.

Are you looking for the right gift for a friend or family member? Or interested in discovering new ways of motivating your employees? Find out about Tinggly’s fantastic range of gift experiences around the world here.