At its best, a well-crafted travel policy should be guided by basic best practices, not just thoughts and ideas. There are so many components that go into a travel policy, so it’s easy to lose sight of the basics and miss opportunities to optimize and streamline things internally for you at your organization. Here are a few minor things that can have a big IMPACT on your travel program.
“Signed, Sealed, Delivered”
Set Expiration Dates and Review Dates
In the world of travel, we move fast, and no we aren’t just talking about the speed of transportation. Things are always changing, and now more than ever and we see policy changes being made by organizations, vendors and the government that will dictate what the new norm will be for travel. Change always doesn’t come to us on this large of a scale, but it is always happening around us. Make sure you stay on top of this change by ensuring you are staying on top of your travel policy. Set expiration dates and time aside for a reoccurring formal review with your TMC and your internal stakeholders. This helps you stay ahead of the game, on top of the change, and always looking proactive for your organization. It’s as simple as setting a recurring calendar reminder and getting meetings on the books early, before everyone gets over scheduled.
Ensure all the Correct People are Involved
We know that your responsibilities as a travel manager only keep increasing. The majority of travel managers spend time collaborating with other key stakeholders in their organization from accounting, human resources, sales and even security teams. There are a lot of people outside of just your travelers that have some level of interest in your travel policy whether they know it or not. Take the time to figure out who these people are in your organization and make yourself a key player in the success of departments outside travel. Getting their buy-in and understanding their needs will help you create the strongest policies to support your travelers.
“Thinking out Loud”
Educate and Communicate
One of the most difficult parts of a travel policy is making sure people understand and buy into it at your organization. Arm yourself with a communication strategy to educate and communicate with your stakeholders and your travelers. Many of you are rightfully concerned about the inundation of information going to your traveling population from external sources. Travel is always in the news, and especially now, on top of everyone’s mind. Create a proactive strategy to communicate by figuring out what is important to your audience and the best way to get them the information. Communication is important in times of crisis, but also helps to develop a regular cadence of communication and education to increase that comfort level with your policy year around.
“You Make My Dreams”
Make your travel policy work for you, not the other way around. Clearly identify what the goals of your policy will be. Is it to save company money? Maybe employee retention and culture is where your organization places value. If you understand your goals, let your TMC help you transition those into your policy. Not every policy should be the same, and there are many ways it can be customized based on your needs and the prioritize of your organization. A great TMC will be able to help make every decision reflect your goals.
Want to go over your travel program? We can work with you to analyze areas of opportunity.
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