Crafting a solid corporate travel policy
While it may seem burdensome to craft a travel policy, it's critical to the success of your travel program, despite if your employees travel twice a year or twice a month. It clarifies any questions that your travelers may have while offering solutions to common travel issues.
In a study conducted by Egencia, it was found, "only 38% say their company travel policy meets their needs very well." As business travel continues to grow at a rapid rate, it's important for organizations to try and revisit their travel policies to try and meet their employee's needs.
Luckily for you, we have some tips that may assist you while crafting a strong corporate travel policy.
Who are your key players?
Make sure you define all the main points of contacts within your organization. Is it clear who will be responsible for reimbursement inquiries, emergencies or changes in flights? Depending on the organization, these roles may go under one person and in some instances, there may be multiple people. Either way, it’s important for these players to be identified.
How do you book?
Do you have a travel manager in your organization, who manages booking all flights within your organization? Perhaps you allow your travelers to book their own flights within an online booking tool like Concur or TripCase. Do you require your employees reach out to your TMC? Not sure? Sit down with some key players to determine what route would be the best option for your company. Oftentimes, companies may have to use a mix of tools to meet everyone’s needs.
Do you have favorites?
Let’s be honest, if your organization travels frequently, you probably have a preference in who you book with. In that case, it’s important for you to identify these preferred vendors, which can include airlines, hotel chains, and rental car providers. We highly suggest you find your preferred vendors and stay loyal to them. This can bring opportunities for your company to save with frequent flyer miles and more.
When to book?
As you can imagine, booking last-minute can get pricey. For that reason, many companies require employees to book several weeks in advance. Determine what the best timeframe would be for your organization, whether that be two weeks or a month and make it a policy for employees to book by that time. Of course, there may be special circumstances in which one may have to book outside of that timeframe. With that, you should request that the employee needs to get approval from a travel manager or other authorized individual when attempting to make one of these bookings.
What does the payment process look like?
Are employees expected to use a company card, as opposed to their personal card? If it’s vice-versa, how are employees going to be reimbursed? Be sure to identify what items that your company is willing to cover, as well as any exceptions.
How will employees stay safe?
Employees like to know that they are going to be kept safe, especially if they’re going to be traveling frequently for your organization. While identifying key players and points of contact in the event of an emergency, it’s important to address safety concerns for your travelers. In a recent Skift article, it was found, “While 69 percent agreed that women face greater risk than men on the road, only 18 percent of policies specifically address the safety and security of female business travelers and only 21 percent have revisited their travel program due to these concerns.” Research the risks for your travelers and be sure to clarify how you intend to mitigate risks for them.
Is what you're conveying clear?
While crafting your organization’s corporate travel policy, make sure to include information on everything, even if there are some points that may seem obvious. If you clearly and concisely identify all key players within your organization and the booking process for employees, it eliminates confusion and any areas for interpretation.
Are your employees kept in the loop?
If there’s one thing to take away from this article, remember to keep your travelers in mind. At the end of the day, the policies that you're creating will be affecting your travelers first-hand. Take into account their preferences as well as their feelings when it comes to crafting your corporate travel policy. Happy travelers mean happy travel planning and execution.