How to Uphold Travel Compliance
Granted, travel policy compliance might not be the sexiest of subjects, but it’s highly important to the successful running of a business.
In these competitive and budget-conscious times, it’s vital to remain on top of best practice, for the benefit of everyone. But with more employees working remotely than ever before, this comes with a number of challenges.
In this article, we look at six helpful ways to uphold travel policy compliance and why it’s important.
What is a Corporate Travel Policy?
Corporate handbooks may cover a wide number of topics. These are put in place to offer guidance and support, and to offer a process for everyone to adhere to. It makes sense.
One of the most important sections is corporate travel. This involves everything from hotel bookings to transfers, flights to per diems, client entertainment to expenses.
A corporate travel policy should be clear, easy to understand and accessible. It should have clear guidelines around how to book and cancel hotels, flights and beyond. This should be updated regularly to reflect any company changes of new legislation.
Tactics for Upholding Policies
It can be tough to manage a remote disparate workforce, but there’s a few actions that can be taken to help maintain travel policy compliance. Integrate these from the outset and you can expect to see positive results.
1. The Right Tools
But first, ask yourself if your company offers the right tools for employees to use? To have a travel policy compliance, you need to ensure guidelines are robust in the first place. Do colleagues know where to find them, and do they have login details to making bookings?
Take a moment to think about ways you can make this easier for team members, be it through a mobile app or attending training.
2. Onboarding Training
Most companies have mandatory training of some kind. It’s good practice to introduce compulsory training for new starters. This should include corporate travel policy guidelines, providing an overview for bookings and best practice when working remotely.
You may even wish to print a copy, provide a digital guidebook on laptops and devices, so it’s always available to hand.
A common reason why employees falter from using corporate booking systems, is because comparison websites are quicker and appear cheaper. What colleagues may not realise when booking through your preferred travel portal is the hidden savings the company makes.
To have an enforceable travel policy compliance, you must first make colleagues aware of the benefits. There’s therefore an education piece around this that companies should address. Be it through training, or presentations at staff events, the best way to get colleagues on board is by explaining the advantages to them.
4. Communication Channels
Even with best intentions, it’s human nature to err on occasion. That’s why friendly reminders can be a useful part of your communications strategy.
For starters, any changes to your travel policy compliance should be communicated with immediate effect, often through email. Optimise company newsletters, magazines or management correspondence to get the message out too.
Remind line managers and those responsible for signing off expenses, of the importance of upholding a travel policy. It is equally their job to remind team members as yours.
Any communication should stress the importance of compiling with the corporate travel policy for everyone’s benefit.
5. Easy to use Booking Platforms
One way to encourage travel policy compliance is to make it easy for your employees by offering a robust travel management system. Roomex for instance, makes it super easy for team members, with a wide choice of hotel options, set within company budget limits. Better still, bookings are chargeable back to the company, which is always popular with co-workers. Moving over to the right travel management system might be all it takes.
In order to uphold travel policy compliance there needs to be some guidelines around enforcing these.
In some cases where repeat offenders continue to break company policy rules, you may need to consider disciplinarily action. Or you may wish to create a sign-off process to monitor their behaviour. In any case, this is a last resort.
So, there you have it, six ways a company can help maintain a travel policy compliance in the workplace.