Staff travel management in the age of the modern worker can be challenging. A combination of the technological advancements of Smartphones and travel apps, employees and freelancers using their own devices for work, and online booking tools that haven’t kept pace with today’s requirements has made managing staff travel a nightmare for businesses. This perfect storm has seen company travel policies ignored, cost management become increasingly uncontrollable, and the personal and financial risk to staff and the business rise enormously.
Despite company travel policies, employees often organise their own travel arrangements because every individual has their own personal preferences. Businesses that attempt to strongarm staff into adhering to strict company travel policies that don’t take into account personal needs will cultivate a disgruntled workforce, many of whom may leave, or worse still, stay and cause damage from within.
How to regain control
Many businesses have relaxed their company travel policies to the point where staff can make their own travel arrangements from start to finish. While this may seem simple and acceptable on the surface, there are enormous implications, not least the complete lack of control of such a significant annual expense for many businesses.
The modern employee is connected to some sort of device almost every waking moment, whether it’s a Smartphone, tablet or laptop, and they are invariably a critical component of their ability to do their job successfully. The immediacy with which they can and want to complete tasks needs to be harnessed and used in a positive way, ensuring all stakeholders are happy when travel arrangements are made.
For businesses to remain on top of staff travel management, they need to embrace cutting edge technology, and ensure they keep up with how quickly it changes. Where once technology slowly evolved during the 20th century, advancements are now taking place at a frightening pace in the 21st century. It’s hard to believe that Facebook was only launched to anyone with a registered email address in 2006, and the first iPhone hit the shelves in 2007.
As such, modern, easy to use and all-encompassing online booking tools are the answer. If all stakeholders of the staff travel process including managers, employees and those who look after arranging travel can see the advantages of using a system, they are all likely to use it in the future.
What are the benefits?
Finding a solution to the disconnect between company travel policy and expectations, and the need for the employees to do what they need to do right now, has numerous benefits for everyone on a range of levels.
- Businesses can account for the whereabouts of their staff and verify their safety.
- Employees, particularly those born in 1980 and beyond, feel empowered by using a tool they are comfortable with, and fits in with their way of life.
- Sensitive company data can be held securely in a controlled environment.
- Deals businesses have with preferred flight, accommodation and other relevant suppliers can be easily maintained.
- Expenses can be accounted for and approved instantly.
- Time will be saved for all stakeholders thanks to the efficiency of the planning, approval, booking and reconciliation processes.
- Travel requests can be monitored, assessed and approved/disapproved instantly across a wide variety of devices, regardless of location.
Empowerment and choice is the key
Online staff travel management tools have the capacity to empower everyone involved in the process, and that can only be good news for increasing business productivity and decreasing wasteful expenditure. By giving employees travel choices within a controlled online platform, businesses are more likely to experience greater employee satisfaction for all stakeholders of staff travel management.
It also offers a significant point of difference for companies on the lookout for the brightest talent on the market. When looking to recruit or hire new employees, being able to show them how well you run your business and the lengths you’re willing to go to ensure they are looked after will help you stand out from the crowd. And in a highly competitive corporate world, any advantage you can get on your competitor will increase your ability to grow, increase profits and navigate your way towards a brighter future.
Is your business spending too much on corporate travel? Calculate your potential savings using our Travel Savings Calculator below: