As a Travel Manager, you know that a business travel policy is essential.
But how do you encourage team members to actually follow it?
The right business travel policy should be good for everyone involved in the business travel process — for Travelers, for Travel Managers, and for the company’s leadership team. A good business travel policy will ensure that traveling team members have resources and privileges that increase comfort and
But a business travel policy is nothing without compliance. In your work as a Travel Manager, you may have found that business travel policy compliance is one of your greatest challenges. To help you increase compliance, JTB Business Travel and Booking.com have jointly published an e-book titled “How to Motivate Corporate Business Travelers to Stay in Policy.”
Here’s a look at some of the ideas shared in the e-book, as well as a preview of the checklist it includes.
Why is Compliance Low?
Rarely are employees non-compliant out of spite. Most of the time, your traveling team members are incredibly busy. They are doing their best to take care of business duties while spending a significant chunk of time away from the office — and business travel policy compliance is simply a lesser priority.
Also, many non-compliant employees are oblivious. According to a CWT Travel Management Institute survey, up to 70% of non-compliant employees aren’t even aware that a mandatory policy exists.
The Power of Communication
A large portion of the checklist included in the e-book focuses on communication. How can you properly articulate that a business travel policy exists, why it exists, as well as how it benefits all parties involved in the business travel process?
Start by using multiple channels to communicate with your traveling team members. The e-book recommends communication channels like:
- Face-to-face conversations
- Printed materials
- Social media
- Texts/mobile alerts
70% of non-compliant employees aren’t even aware that a mandatory policy exists.
When communicating your business travel policy, make sure that the travel policy itself is readable. If there’s too much corporate language, it will be hard for your traveling team members to actually get through it.
Also, make sure the business travel policy highlights benefits to travelers. If employees see how a policy benefits them, they will be more likely to comply.
And, finally, communicate consistently. Use the channels listed above and get into a regular cadence for sharing your business travel policy with your team members.
New Trends in Business Travel
As a travel manager in 2019, you are operating in an entirely different environment than your predecessors. A series of emerging trends are influencing your work and business travel in general, and it’s important to understand these trends as you create a business travel policy, as you communicate to your team members, and as you seek full compliance.
Emerging trends affecting business travel and business travel policies include:
- New technologies
- Digital disruption
- Pressure to drive down costs
- A desire to improve efficiency
- The unique needs of Gen X and Millennial employees
The e-book’s checklist addresses these emerging trends at various points, including tips and ideas for how you can use the environmental factors to your benefit in gaining business travel policy compliance.
The Checklist: 20 Steps to Business Travel Policy Compliance
The checklist itself includes 20 steps and significant detail on how you can generate greater business travel policy compliance. The steps are:
- Have you created a business travel policy yet?
- Are your employees aware that you have a travel policy?
- How compliant are your employees with your travel policy?
- What are your top compliance challenges?
- Is your travel policy engaging business travelers in their own language?
- Can your employees contribute to your policy?
- Have you defined your priorities?
- Is your travel policy readable?
- Pretend to be a business traveler and read it out loud.
- Does your travel policy reflect the real needs of the traveler?
- Can your recent travel data be used to make changes or improvements to your current policy?
- Is your travel policy flexible in its range of options?
- Are you crystal clear about what’s expected from the traveler?
- Do you thank your business travelers for their compliance?
- Does your travel policy have the right balance between travel expenses and business support?
- Do you train your staff on how to use your travel policy?
- Does your travel policy cover how you and your employees should react in case of an emergency?
- Can you easily contact your employees in case of an emergency?
- Do you rely on one or a mix of formats for your travel policy?
- Are you aware of the trends affecting the corporate travel industry?
The full e-book provides detailed ideas for answering the questions above. Download it now, and start your journey toward greater business travel policy compliance.
Make Sure You Have the Right Policy in Place
Of course, the first and most important question is: Have you created a business travel policy yet? If you don’t have a business travel policy, or if you’re struggling with the policy you have in place, JTB Business Travel can help.