Implementing a successful Business Travel Policy
When your travel policy is well crafted, effectively communicated and supported by both the travellers and executives – it serves as an ideal tool in helping your organisation meet the strategic objectives of travel expenditure – savings, service and safety.
Having a strong policy that balances the needs of both the company and the traveller will allow your organisation to strive and achieve the right balance between the corporate needs for cost control and the traveller’s desires for comfort and convenience.
There is no universal policy that will work for every company, it can even be quite challenging writing a company wide policy when considering multiple geographic regions and unique local requirements. However it is important that your travel policy is clear and concise to ensure clarity throughout the organisation. If the policy is too long, it will deter people from reading it and if there are multiple caveats, exceptions and details – it will be difficult for your employees to absorb and execute them.
Once top level management have agreed on the travel policy and understand the costs that will be achieved if the policy is well executed, it is vital that the policy is communicated effectively and that you have tools in place to track compliance.
Top tips to consider when writing your travel policy
Always bear in mind what you want to achieve from your policy – is it solely about achieving savings and reducing your travel expenditure or is it ultimately to ensure traveller safety and welfare? Ideally it will be a combination of both of these factors - to achieve savings for your organisation in addition to complying with your duty of care obligations.
Remember that the ‘cheapest’ option may not always be the ideal proposition in terms of company time and money and employee well being.
If your travel policy is longer than two pages it may contain too much information for the reader to absorb, which may lead to frustration and confusion resulting in non compliant bookings.
Ensure that your travel policy contains enablers to aid compliance, such as
Pre Trip authorisation processes
Pre Trip non compliance reports
Post trip policy compliance audits
Senior management’s commitment to enforcing the travel policy
Senior managements track record of complying with the travel policy
Regular reviews with senior management to review compliance to the policy
In order for your policy to be well executed, it needs to be readily available to your employees.
Recommendations for communicating your travel policy include:
* Discussing the policy during new employee induction * a copy of the policy to be contained within your policies and procedures manual * the travel policy should be on your company intranet site * your travel managers / corporate travel agency can hold regular traveller forums to help employee engagement and answer questions.
Organisations need to be able to track compliance and track where the non conformities are coming from. Management information will be an integral part of the process in a new policy both prior to implementation and ongoing to allow all parties to make decisions and monitor progress and it is paramount that you have access to track non compliant bookings.
A travel policy is not a single document that you can compose once and expect it to be effective forever. Business needs and travel prices fluctuate all of the time and so it is important that you dedicate time to review the effectiveness of your policy.
The above is just a snapshot of the subjects to consider when writing an effective travel policy to control and reduce your travel expenditure and increase compliance and traveller safety.
ACE Travel manages the travel polices, traveler safety issues and budgets for clients in both London and Essex and have a range of products and services to assist clients with their travel policy and authorisation processes and Duty of Care obligations. Experienced Account Managers are able to provide complimentary advice concerning implementing effective travel expense and authorisation policies in addition to a range of products and services which track compliance and traveller booking behavior.
For more information on ACE Travel Management, please visit www.acetravel.co.uk
Sarah Wilson. Director. firstname.lastname@example.org