Today we have a special guest, a Corporate Travel industry veteran — Sanjiv Kumar, who shares his thoughts on why now is the right time for corporates to adopt a modern Travel Management Solution.
Sanjiv has been associated with the Travel Technology for the last 17 years with multiple roles covering Software Development, Project Management, Business Analysis & Transformation Consulting. Mitigated the challenges for many Corporate and Travel Management Companies by automating the business process for the industry people through the right technology.
For corporate-travel managers, it’s now the time to change their company’s travel policies. The millennial business travelers have very different needs from that of older Gen X travelers. The millennial traveler expects digital/mobile-first experience while managing his business travel. This along with the Covid-19 pandemic makes a good case of adapting a modern travel management solution.
Top 3 Benefits of adopting a Modern Travel Management Platform
Compliance: A recent survey revealed more than 58 percent don’t adhere to the company’s travel policies. It’s imperative now to design a new corporate travel policy that meets the employees’ needs and offers more flexibility.
Employee Concern & Satisfaction: We need to take care of employees’ satisfaction by attending to their business travel concerns and offering them more convenience.
Improved performance: Business travelers are ambassadors of your company, so their performance during the trip is of utmost importance. Adequate preparation, proper rest, and motivation affect their performance and productivity during business trips. Providing business travelers the chance to select a hotel near his point of interest can help them maximize their time at the event and even meet with new potential clients in the evening without exhausting their energy.
It may be the case that your corporate travel policy has been drafted long time back or by less tech-savvy business travelers. It’s time to adapt it to today’s workforce and tomorrow’s leaders.
If you have now decided to revamp your Company Travel policies, what would be the next steps?
1. Assess your company’s current challenges and Business travel practices
What problems and complaints do your employees often have when they travel for business?
Here’s one: you may find it difficult to keep track of the traveler’s whereabouts during the trip. Or perhaps you can improve coordination between the office and the traveler when flights are delayed. Maybe your transportation expenses keep exceeding the budget because you’re always booking refundable tickets, even though only a tiny percentage of your trips gets re-scheduled or canceled.
To find out, you’ll need to gather your company’s business travel data and identify trends. Assess practices to find what works and what doesn’t.
2. Company’s business travel goals
As you write or revise your corporate travel policy, make sure it helps you achieve your company’s goals. It’s a good idea to talk to employees especially newer and younger ones to find out whether they grasp the bigger picture of how their business trips contribute to the company.
Identify what you want to achieve by crafting the policy. For instance, is your top priority to save money? Is it to offer employees more flexibility when they travel? Is it the Health and Safety issue post-pandemic? Let the priorities of the company and the travelers guide your policy.
3. Determine the level of control
How much flexibility will you give to employees? For example, you might give them the freedom to choose flights and accommodation as long as they stay within your budget. You might specify partner airlines and hotels, and let employees choose among those.
Keep in mind to include weekends when they book travel dates. This trend is called ‘Bleisure’ travel, or extending business trips for leisure. If you allow this, which you probably should if you’re writing a corporate travel policy for modern travelers, you can use the policy to draw a clear line between the company’s and the employee’s area of responsibility.
4. Think of alternatives.
If your travel practices currently limit employees to hotels, consider alternatives accommodations like Home-Stays. That said, you’ll need to measure the pros and cons of using shared services. These include cost, convenience, and security.
5. Business Trip and Travel Policy implementation strategy
How Business Trips will be managed? Will it be done by an external agency or by your own administrative team? If former, check whether you have enough budget. Otherwise, find out how much bandwidth your admin or HR team has to handle travel arrangements.
More companies like this platform today are using digital tools to auto-enforce their policies so you can check if that works for you, too. This is usually done by uploading the policies to an app or management system, which also handles bookings, other travel & expenses arrangements, and implements control for travel policy compliance. Zoliday digital platform also works well for small and large companies, which typically trust their employees to book their own flights and accommodation and manage other travel-related expenses.
6. Draft Travel-Policy that is easy to understand
It doesn’t have to be text-only literature written in a very formal language. The aim of this should be to make the employees read and understand the travel policy. No one wants to read a document consisting of 50 or 100 pages.
Make the corporate travel policy easy to remember by keeping it short and simple. For best results, use clear, straightforward, and specific language. Use photos, diagrams, and charts if needed. Make proper sections so that policy is clearly formatted and it will be easy for employees to refer to them when needed.
Editors note: If you need any help with drafting a corporate travel policy, you can write to me on email@example.com.
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