You mention the word “business trip”, and people start groaning or rolling their eyes. No one seems to be particularly thrilled about the idea of travelling for work. As the travel manager, this scenario is a clear sign that your staff travel programme needs a makeover.
Staff travel should be something that employees look forward to doing, not dread. For frequent travellers, ease of booking trips and rewards for closing that sales deal or having the lowest expenditure, are some of the things they seek, which motivates them when taking that business trip. Other aspects, like ensuring policy compliance or identifying travel trends, are equally important for your programme, and should not be overlooked.
To ensure a successful programme that satisfies the needs of both travellers and the business, here’s what you should incorporate:
Perks and Rewards
Incentives should be offered for meeting business goals, such as making you money, or saving you money. For example, Google realised that they needed to incentivise travellers for booking cheaper flights and hotels on the company’s dime. Therefore, they instituted a programme that would give them flexibility in booking with their preferred providers, while staying within the budget range to cut costs.
Employees should also be acknowledged when managing costs well. This includes staying below budget, uploading and keeping track of receipts, and submitting expense reports on time. However, without the right tool, this can be a challenge. Look for a travel management platform that integrates with an expensing tool such as Expensify.
Every corporate policy should include how much money is to be spent on business trips every year. However, without the right controls in place for ensuring employees stay on budget, it’s hard to remain compliant. Therefore, an online platform that easily converts paper receipts into online ones to keep track of expenses, or compares multiple travel sites to give you the best rates, are essential features for assuring compliance.
Constantly gathering information on how your company travels is necessary for regularly improving your travel programme, and cutting costs. Automatic audit reporting, for example, lets you record response times delivered by your travel management company to make sure your SLAs (service level agreements) are met. Metrics such as approval response times, number of travel requests, and average trip budgets, can all help you identify gaps in your policies to make make improvements where necessary.
Requesting travel and approving it should occur seamlessly between both users - communication shouldn’t be difficult. This is a common challenge for a lot of companies. Not everyone is kept in the loop. To ensure information is received by the appropriate people about travel plans and changes, a messaging app is crucial. It should also have the ability to keep data logged so that there’s a full audit trail for compliance purposes.
By incorporating these components into your staff travel programme efficiently, we’re sure it’ll get the makeover that it needs. So next time someone mentions “business trip”, they’ll look forward to exploring a new destination (or visiting a frequent one), instead of giving you those rolling eyes and groans.
Is your business spending too much on corporate travel? Calculate your potential savings using our Travel Savings Calculator below: