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10 Steps to creating the perfect travel policy
Formalising your corporate travel policy can be a daunting task. We take a look at how to do it right – so you can create the perfect travel policy.
#1. Be clear about what you want to achieve
Your travel policy is going to need to balance differing needs:
* Financial * Legal/ duty of care
* Traveller wellbeing
* Employee engagement and satisfaction
As you’re developing your policy, you need to consider how it sits within the broader business plan and how you are helping your organisation fulfil its stated corporate objectives through your travel policy.
#2. Get the right people involved
To be successful, your travel policy needs to be a team effort. Get everyone who needs to be involved as early as possible, to ensure maximum buy in. This will include Finance, HR and leadership.
#3. Solicit Employee feedback
Of course, your travellers must also be part of getting the right people involved and getting buy-in with your policy. Seek feedback and try to incorporate this in a way that reflects your overall business objectives.
#4. Be comprehensive in your approach
In policy development, you need to consider
* The travel request process
* The travel approval and denial process
* How to make travel arrangements and reservations
* Spending limits and other restrictions for:
Other transport and transfers
Per diem food and expenses budgets
* Expectations around employee conduct while travelling
* Travel injuries, compensation, security and emergency procedures
* Timely approval and reimbursement of expense claims
#5. Ensure the rules create the right outcomes
We all know that booking a first-class rail ticket in advance can often be cheaper than booking a standard ticket at the last minute. If your goal is to reduce costs, why have an arbitrary rule against first-class travel when you can reward travellers for being organised and booking in advance to secure the best rates? It is important to work with your Travel Counsellor so they understand how to interpret the rules and facilitate maximum ease and clarity for your travellers.
#6. Reflect your company culture
If your organisation prides itself on its flat company structure, allowing the executive team significantly more generous travel allowances isn’t going to fit the company culture. Ensure your policies and the way they are communicated are in keeping with what your organisation stands for.
#7. Aim to offer maximum flexibility
Your policy needs to deliver a clear framework which will deliver on your corporate objectives but will offer travellers as much autonomy as possible within that.
How much flexibility can you offer your travellers? For example, can you enable travellers to make up difference in cost from the best fare in order to travel with their preferred airline? Or enable them to augment their trip with days taken as holiday to allow for “bleisure” travel? Can you specify business expenses as a maximum amount per day, rather than being proscriptive about how much can be spent per meal?
#8. Establish clear lines of responsibility
Your travellers need to know what is expected of them in terms of behaviour and personal safety. Work with your Travel Counsellor to ensure your travellers feel supported and know how to get help if the worst happens.
#9. Set clear guidelines – concisely
Once you’ve developed your policy, employees need to know where they stand – on everything from acceptable classes of airline ticket to the acceptance of gifts. When writing and communicating your policy aim to be as clear and concise as possible – “policy on a page” is an admirable goal.
#10. Measure and enforce compliance
Effective compliance will require you to work in close partnership with your Travel Counsellor to ensure maximum compliance from travellers and bookers and to identify and understand areas of non-compliance. Making it clear from the start what the penalties are for non-compliance should help to get everyone on board.
Beyond a pure compliance focus, how can you use rewards and incentives to improve traveller satisfaction and ensure everyone is working towards the same travel policy goals?
Your Travel Counsellor can assist with corporate travel policy development, delivery and compliance – speak with them directly to find out how they can support you achieve your travel policy objectives or contact us to talk about your travel options.
With the business travel landscape changing so greatly over the duration of the pandemic, it’s no surprise our valued clients had a lot to say in two recent feedback surveys, conducted in March and June 2021. Find out what they told us here.
As travel corridors open and some business travellers now no longer needing to quarantine on return to the UK, travellers are getting back to business.