A travel policy sets guidelines for how a company’s staff members travel. It helps to manage travel arrangements and ensures that staff members are well informed about what is expected of them when travelling for business purposes. A well-defined travel policy provides a critical framework for achieving travel savings.
Here are 10 simple steps (plus a little bonus) from Corporate Traveller to shape up your travel policy:
1.Put well-defined booking procedures in place
Following the same procedures for all business trips will save you time and leave no room for uncertainty.
2.Balance the company’s and the employee’s needs
Both the company’s need for cost-effectiveness and the employee's need for quality services and support while on a business trip are important. Make sure you balance the two as far as possible.
3.Give employees a certain degree of choice
Offer different options within your travel policy, if possible, so that employees feel they have some choice. Greater freedom to choose is especially important to millennial travellers (born between 1980 and 2000), and will increase the chances that they comply with the travel policy.
4.Involve employees and be open to suggestions
When making changes to your policy, involve employees in the process. Ask them to give you feedback and reviews on, for instance, places they’ve stayed and airlines they’ve flown with – and adapt your policy and choose your preferred suppliers accordingly.
5.Include contact details for emergency situations
Your travel policy should inform employees about what to do in crisis situations. Include information on what happens in a crisis situation: who travellers should contact, which costs the company covers if, for example, a flight is missed, and so on. Contact details should be checked and updated regularly.
6.Pay attention to detail
Make sure you include the following in your travel policy:
- The procedure to follow for getting authorisation for a business trip
- The employee’s responsibilities
- The employee’s managers’ responsibilities
- Rules for booking air travel – for example, under which circumstances employees are allowed to fly business class
7.Be clear about who is responsible for which costs
Clearly state which costs are covered by the employer and which expenses are for the employee’s own account. Also provide guidelines about expense claims and deadlines for claims, whether employees may retain frequent-flyer benefits, your car-rental policy and a reimbursement agreement for when employees use their own vehicles for business trips.
8.Specify which employees are allowed to travel together
Specify the number of employees, managers or executives allowed to travel in one vehicle or on one aeroplane at a time.
9.Leave room for change
Your travel policy doesn’t have to be set in stone, so make sure you set a few basic rules and compile guidelines that you can adapt as the company’s travel requirements change.
10.Provide clear guidelines for bleisure travel
Be clear about which costs the company will cover and which will be for the traveller’s own expense, and provide clear guidance on who will be responsible for travel insurance, and how many leisure days the employee is entitled to on a business trip.
Bonus tip: Make room for sharing
Your travel policy should make room for the sharing economy. Clearly state whether employees are allowed to book accommodation through Airbnb, or expense their Uber trips, and provide guidelines on how to do so.
For more information or help in improving your travel policy, contact your Corporate Traveller expert today.