All routes to significant business travel savings start at a business’ travel policy – that’s the good news.
The bad news is that creating an effective travel policy is one of the most common challenges faced by businesses who are looking to reduce their travel spend. It’s a stumbling block that comes up time and time again and often leaves travel managers and procurement teams searching for a dark corner and a cold compress.
And for good reason.
Travel policies can feel like a tightrope on which a business must balance cost reduction and avoidance, as well as duty of care and traveller wellbeing – a tricky task. So, we’ve assembled our experts to provide you with a steadying hand in order to boost the efficacy of your organisation’s travel policy to ensure that it’s working for both your budget and your travellers.
- Keep it aligned
It can be tempting to try and impose a very strict travel policy in an attempt to see quick, dramatic savings. However, this is rarely the most effective plan of action – in fact, the nature of your travel policy should take its cue from your business’ unique culture.
Trying to enforce a policy that is at odds with how your team works is unlikely to produce results; instead, take your cue from other policies and approaches around your organisation and honestly evaluate what’s working and what can be improved upon.
2. Keep it dynamic
Dynamic travel policies are a new breed of policy that are allowing businesses to break away from more restrictive concepts of cost saving and instead affording travellers more flexibility and choice whilst still exercising control.
Unlike a traditional business travel policy, that is a static set of business travel guidelines, a dynamic policy’s controls will adapt depending on the options available at the time of booking. For example, instead of saying a rail ticket must be in standard class, you say that it must be within X% of the cheapest option. This gives the traveller choice but concurrently controls costs, delivering best value and a great user experience.
3. Keep it up to date
Not all travel policies last forever – in fact, policies can quickly become outdated and ill-fitting as organisations grow over time, meaning they become ineffective and unsuited to changing requirements.
Consider your team’s feedback to understand changing or new requirements. By reviewing your policy regularly you can ensure it continues to work for your business and your employees.
4. Keep it all in one place
Integrating your travel policy into your online booking tool is the best way to bring your policy to life and ensure that it’s more than a dry document that only gets looked at on an employee’s first day.
If the user can’t easily determine which options they’re allowed to book, it can lead to frustration and confusion, which may result in the user booking outside of the contract and your controls. Depending on your booking tool, a fully integrated travel policy means that your travellers should benefit from clear indication of which booking options are within policy and which aren’t, therefore guiding their booking behaviour and operating visual guilt.