The numbers are in, and they don’t look great. The Global Business Travel Association recently released a new study that indicates a gap in communication when it comes to travel policies. Travelers want to do the right thing, but they often don’t know or completely understand what the rules are. When travelers and employers aren’t on the same page, non-compliance and policy violations will increase. Don’t assume that employees know the ins and outs of the company’s travel policy. Working with a company that specializes in corporate travel services can help you bridge the communication gap, standardize your policy, and reduce unintentional violations.
Clean Up Your Policy
A clear, easy-to-follow policy ensures effective communication and traveler compliance. If you’re not sure where to start, review the three keys for an effective travel management program.
An effective travel policy is comprehensive without being excessively long. If a traveler has to search through multiple sections, subsections, and appendices in order to find the answer to a question, mistakes and violations are inevitable. High levels of noncompliance usually indicates an issue with the policy itself, not the travelers.
Expect the Unexpected
There’s no place for gray areas in a corporate travel policy. Unexpected events can and will happen, so travelers need to know how to navigate them. If the policy designates mandatory booking with preferred vendors, it should also cover what to do if those vendors are unavailable. Not every hotel chain, airline, or rental service covers every possible destination.
The language of the travel policy should be practical and include examples of standard transactions and allowable exceptions. Depending on the size and scope of your company’s travel needs, you may need to include regional standards or policy adjustments in different countries. Ensure that the following areas are covered:
- Preferred vendors and suppliers, as well as what to do if they’re not available
- Booking procedures and protocols
- Reimbursable and non-reimbursable expenses
- Traveler comfort and safety
Provide Education and Support
If travelers don’t hear, understand, or remember the stipulations of the company’s travel policy, the lack of information will drive unnecessary costs. Comprehensive and ongoing education is crucial. Policies often change over time, so be sure to identify new information as it occurs.
In-person meetings are a great way to educate and support business travelers. It emphasizes the importance of the policy while allowing the opportunity for employees to ask questions and clarify areas of misunderstanding.
Work with a Corporate Travel Agency
Successfully communicating and ensuring travelers understand travel policy helps cut costs, ensure traveler safety, and drive policy compliance. Keep the lines of communication open, and invite feedback about what is and isn’t working.
Teplis Travel has been delivering solutions for corporate travel for over four decades. Our experienced agents and advanced travel technology help you get the most out of your travel budget. To learn more about our services, contact a Teplis Travel representative today.