Carrot or Stick? 10 Steps to Enforce Your Corporate Travel Policy
Travel policy compliance is the bane of many a travel manager’s life. We look at ways to make it easy for yourself when enforcing your corporate travel policy.
Working in close partnership with your Travel Counsellor is most effective way to deliver a practical travel policy. However, many travel managers find that it can be difficult to enforce the policy to ensure maximum compliance.
Here are our tips for ensuring travellers and bookers stick to the rules.
1. Get the policy right – so travellers want to comply
If you’ve built your corporate travel policy around the needs of staff to begin with, there should be little incentive for staff to make non-compliant purchases.
2. Find executive sponsors
When you have a member of the senior management team driving it forwards, your policy will get wider buy-in. Winning hearts and minds starts with the executive team.
3. Promote the policy internally
Your policy need to be clearly and effectively communicated at all levels of the organisation. The first step to gaining compliance is making the rules easy to understand.
4. Make use of your travel management company
With your travel management company enforcing your policy on your behalf, your life will be much easier!
5. Choose your partners wisely
opinions about the airline and hotels they want to use, but their opinion of your travel management company matters too. Choose a good partner that your staff trusts and wants to work with – and that you can rely on to discourage off-list spending.
6. Analyse non-compliant travel
Seek your travel management company’s help to analyse non-compliant spending to help you to identify and understand areas of non-compliance (and, as a result, what’s causing it). Once you know the cause you can act swiftly to prevent it.
7. Penalise non-compliance
Making it clear from the start what the penalties are for non-compliance should help to get everyone on board. Remember, if there are no penalties for non-compliant bookings, your policy has no authority.
8. Communicate quickly and frequently with non-compliant offenders
If you have the ability to identify non-compliant spending as it happens (or soon after) rather than waiting weeks for expense forms to come in, you can act quickly to speak with the travellers concerned. Make the effort to understand why the non-compliant spending occurred – but be clear that the penalties will apply.
9. Leverage your executive sponsors
If you can, ask your executive to add their weight to these conversations – whether in praise of compliant spending or following up with non-compliant spenders.
10. Create compelling incentives
Talk with travellers about how can you use rewards and incentives to improve traveller satisfaction and ensure everyone is working towards the same travel policy goals? Incentives will be much more effective if they are driven by travellers. Plus, with the executive buy-in you’ve secured, you should be able to negotiate the budget to make them happen!
Working in partnership with your travel management company is so important in both encouraging compliance and identifying and tackling non-compliance. If you’re struggling with compliance and would like more help with implementing your travel policy, speak with your Travel Counsellor.
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