Implementing new travel policies can get tricky. Yet often the real battle comes later, when you’re trying to get employee compliance on these new changes. More often than not, these new policies were sculpted with the traveler’s needs and happiness in mind. The truth is there are many reasons business travelers should want to comply, not just because the company seems to demand it.
What employees receive when they comply with the travel program:
- Their safety. It’s the company’s duty of care responsibility to ensure their traveler’s wellbeing while they’re traveling on the company’s behalf. Should an emergency arise, there will be no confusion if a traveler has followed the protocol of the travel policy. Plus, tools like our SecurityLogic provides instant location information, based off of their itineraries.
- Saves costs for the company. Vendor contracts have been painstakingly created and negotiated. It only makes sense to stay within guidelines.
- If done correctly, increases traveler satisfaction. As important as overall costs are for the company, ensuring their travelers are comfortable often leads to more productive meetings. By understanding what will keep your travelers happy, and ensuring they rely on your travel program to receive it, makes it a win/win for everyone.
5 ways to use traveler satisfaction to increase compliance
- First and foremost, talk to your travelers. Survey your employees and try to negotiate the inclusions that are important to them. They are, after all, the people enduring the trip.
- Recognize frequently expensed items like lounge access or Wi-Fi. Try to get these things included for frequent travelers.
- Don’t be afraid to get creative in negotiations. For example, if travelers are frequently expensing Starbucks, consider negating a breakfast credit to be used either in the restaurant or coffee shop (rather than a traditional breakfast) at your preferred hotel.
- Travelers are more likely to comply to vendors if you provide them the WIFM (what’s in it for me). Traveling for business in general may be enough of a perk of the job for some. So make sure they understand the additional benefits included in their policy. You’ve worked hard to get them these perks, so make sure they know they have it available.
- Continued internal communication about travel programs. This tip seems so basic, but is often overlooked. Travel management has a tendency to become a siloed conversation within companies. Sure, new employees are briefed when they come on, but how many really know what’s included in their travel policy? Many may not even realize they’re booking outside of the policy. Or reasonable alternatives to their preferences are available. Try by taking a step back and putting yourself in their shoes for a few minutes. When was the last time they were briefed on employee compliance and the travel policy? What information is available when they’re booking or if they have questions? Do you have communications protocol if a new vendor contract is created? You could make a goal to send out a quarterly update email entailing any changes or reminders of basic protocols.
Overall, getting employee compliance with travel policies requires help from both sides of the table – the company and the traveler. By understanding their needs, you can help create a superior travel experience. And hopefully the travelers will understand the importance of complying with the policy when they see the benefits for their wellbeing and safety.